Day 1 – Make an Advent Calendar

by Kelsey Norwood

in Celebrations, Routines, & Traditions,Family Fun

If you haven’t already put together an advent calendar, do this today with your family. A simple idea to get you started is to wrap up 25 Christmas books and put them under the tree. Unwrap and read one each night until Christmas. This is a simple, inexpensive, and nearly plan-free way to do your advent calendar and your kids will love hearing a new Christmas story every night. Be sure to remember your favorites and reuse them next year. Here are the Top 10 Christmas Picture Books from

  • Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury
  • Antonella and her Santa Claus
  • The Nativity
  • The Polar Express
  • A Baby Born in Bethlehem
  • The Legend of the Poinsettia
  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • B is for Bethlehem
  • All for the Newborn Baby

advent calendar

Our advent calendar this year was inspired by Martha Stewart. At last year’s day-after-Christmas sale at Target I bought 25 mini stockings, but I could have just as easily used regular Christmas socks or hung colorful envelopes. Each little stocking has a little piece of paper inside that says what we’re going to do that day to celebrate Christmas.

Advent calendars are so much fun for your family because they get you doing things to celebrate Christmas rather than just opening presents on Christmas day. Our advent calendar helps us remember to take the time to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and focus on giving and being together as a family rather than just presents. And advent calendars also create even more anticipation for the big day!

Other ideas for advent calendars:

  • wrap up little boxes
  • have a jar with 25 slips of paper
  • put your advent activities in festive envelopes and have them mailed to your house, one to arrive each day

The possibilities are endless. Be creative and have fun!


1 Elizabeth M. December 1, 2008 at 5:04 am

I love your 25 books idea!

2 Jessica December 1, 2008 at 11:55 am

I love the 25 books idea, too, but we only have about ten, so maybe next year!
We are going to copy your envelope idea and fill them up tonight for FHE. Thanks for the idea and I can’t wait to steal some more of them as well.

3 Becky Smith December 10, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Our advent calendar is a long strip of fabric (about 6 inches wide and 40 inches long) with ric rac sewn in the edges and 24 pieces of ribbon sewn down the front. We tie a little bag of candy to each ribbon and take one down every day. I did this as a little girl and my mom made me one when we got married so it is one of our family traditions now!

4 Michele December 11, 2008 at 2:00 am

I like the stocking picture you posted here. Your idea of wrapping up a Christmas book for each day is fabulous!!!!! Reading is so important in genereal, and what a great way to get kids interested in reading and in the Christmas spirit!!! Thanks so much for the top 10 Christmas picture books list, too. I’ll have to check them out at the library.

Thanks so much!!
Michele R.(CA)
Butterfly Whispers

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