Now that our daughter is old enough to understand about Christmas and get excited, we wanted to have an "official" advent calendar planned for the month of December. Thanks to my Christmas board on Pinterest, I've come across a ton of different ideas for homemade advent calendars.
My favorite is this Kaisercraft Advent Calendar. It comes plain, and there are so many awesome decorating ideas. I really like the colors and decorations in this one.
I recently found this advent calendar from Target, and I love it too!
But, both of these are a little pricey ($25 and $40, respectively), so I'm going to check after Christmas to see if I can get one on sale.
Instead of buying something that I didn't love while I try to find a good sale, I decided to use jars that I already had on hand. I easily came up with 25 beautiful glass jars! Most of them are Ball 4 oz canning jars and 1/2 Pint canning jars that I've been using for homemade yogurt, along with a few odd baby food jars, Herlocher's jars, and a spaghetti sauce jar.
I wanted to have us read through the Christmas story as we go through our jars, so I divided it up from the Gospel of Luke. This way we only have one verse to read each day. Depending on how it goes, we may read the previous verses as well as the new day's verse all together. I printed them out and cut out each verse, gluing them to colored construction paper.
Pinterest also helped me to find a ton of Christmas activities to include in our jars, but most of them didn't seem quite right for our family, so I ended up making mostly my own list there also. This was a lot of fun because I got to really personalize our advent calendar!
Here's the complete list of our advent activities:
Decorate the tree
Make paper snowflakes
Sing carols at home
Make handmade ornaments
Make a popcorn garland
Dance to Christmas music
Make hot chocolate
Read ‘He’s Here!’
Read ‘The King of all Kings’
Merry Christmas! Open gifts!
Pray as a family
Build a snowman
Write a letter to Santa
Go see Christmas lights
Go get the Christmas tree
Deliver cookies to neighbors
Read ‘The light of the whole world’
Make Christmas cookies
Color a Christmas picture
Read ‘The night before Christmas’
I am so excited for how the advent calendar turned out and can't wait until tomorrow to get started opening our first jar!
Here are some close-up peeks at a few of our jars.
(This jar is full of marshmallows and toothpicks...our snowman building materials!)
The Christmas Day jar.
Do you do an advent calendar with your family? I'd love to hear what you do!