Advent Calendar

I found this idea online.  There were no specific directions, but I loved the idea for my kids.  I thought about it for a while and tried a few things and eventually, I came up with this. I love Christmas and the Christmas season.  I have found it even more exciting with kids.  Everything that was exciting for you, is new to them and makes it even more exciting.  I wanted to teach my kids about what Christmas is all about.  That it wasn’t just about getting things but it was about Christ’s birth!  It is about helping people in need and enjoying the blessings that God has given, be they few or many.  In our calendar I included lots of fun things to do that will help us count down to Christmas, but also things that we had to do for others.  Putting others first, giving of ourselves, as well as enjoying friends and family.

Here are the 24 cards that I made: (in no specific order)

  1. Decorate for Christmas
  2. Make treats for sunday school teachers
  3. Watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn
  4. Make Christmas cards
  5. Call Grammy and grampy and sing Christmas songs together!
  6. Read the Christmas story from the Bible (Luke 2)
  7. Set up the nativity scene and talk about it
  8. Learn a new Christmas song
  9. Get bundled up and take a walk outside (finish with a mug of hot chocolate)
  10. Take Christmas pictures
  11. Color a Christmas pictures
  12. Make puppets and put on a puppet show
  13. Be a helper to someone today
  14. Make a new Christmas ornament
  15. Pray for people who may be lonely this Christmas season
  16. Make a Christmas craft
  17. Buy Christmas gifts for the family
  18. Wrap the Christmas gifts that you bought
  19. Make Christmas cookies
  20. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
  21. Make hot chocolate and stir with candy canes
  22. Listen to Christmas music
  23. Build a snowman or make paper snowflakes
  24. Make a treat and bring it to a friend
  25. Christmas Day – Jesus is born!!

Prep time: 5-6 hours Difficulty: Moderate

Supplies Needed

  • 24 pieces of plain card stock paper cut to 4in X 5in (these become the pockets)
  • 24 pieces of designed paper cut to 3 1/2 X 4 1/2 (these get glued on top of the  plain card stock as decoration)
  • 5 pieces of 12 X 12in card stock paper
  • 2 1/2in numbers (1-24)
  • Various paper cut outs, old cards, embellishments, or stickers
  • Tape & glue
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine with old needle and cream thread
  • Foam board
  • 3 x 5 cards, unlined
  • Ribbon

Directions

Step 1: Cut out the 24 (4 X 5in) pieces of card stock.  Cut out 24 of the 3 1/2 X 4 1/2 in designed pieces and begin assembling the individual pockets.  I used my cricket to cut out the numbers to be 2 1/2 inches. I also used the cricut to cut shapes and Christmas designs.  Scrapbook stickers and old Christmas cards would be a great addition too.

Step 2:  Cut 1 piece of card stock in half.  Lay all the card stock pieces in a block of 4, place the halved piece along the bottom. The backing measurements are 30 inches long by 24 inches wide. Tape them together while you place and mark the pocket placement, but when you go to sew them you will have to take them apart to fit into the machine.  Mark where you want the completed and designed pockets to be with a pencil. (5 pockets in each row, minus one from the last row).

Step 3:  This is the tricky part.  Using cream thread and an old sewing needle begin to sew row by row.  I found it easiest to have two pieces of the 12 X 12in card stock taped together at a time.  I sewed two rows at a time and assembled the whole calendar once it was sewn.

Example:  I sewed #1 then #5, #2 then #7, #3 then #8, #4 then #9, then #5 and #10.  Then I went on to sew the next two rows; from #11 - #20.  Numbers 21 - 24 were on their own row.  Once all the pockets were sewn I re-taped all of the card stock paper back together.

Step 4:  Once it is all sewn, tape the back side of the calendar and mount it with glue onto a piece of foam board cut to size. I left a 8 X 24 inch header at the top for the words "Countdown to Christmas" to be mounted to.

Step 5:  This is the fun part!  On index cards write out the activities that will go into your calendar.  What will you do that will lead up to Christmas?  Hole punch the tops of them and insert a ribbon.  Stick one card in each pocket, with the ribbon side up. Be creative...I would love to hear some of the ideas that you are going to use.

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