Advent Calendar


I grew up in Malaysia and was not exposed to the Advent calendar growing up. I guess because I did not grow up with it – I kept putting off getting one. My son is now 8 and I panicked thinking that I have deprived him of a key part of an American childhood. S0, I decided to make an age appropriate Advent calendar which hopefully combines the real reason for the season as well as some fun.

As I started making it a couple of weeks ago I realized that many of my friends did not grow up with one either. An Advent calendar is a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3.(this from wikipedia).

For those of you who did not grow up knowing about Advent – you will need to look it up. It is the season leading up to Christmas.

First Step:

Form: You have to decide what form you want your Advent Calendar to take. I looked through many examples on the web and decided on a natural look with branches from the backyard. This just involved me walking around the yard looking for a branch that might work. I must admit I started with a branch that was way too big and thankfully my husband interfered.  So, I finally found a few smaller branches, cut them down to a manageable size and height and got them anchored in a pot I had. I used a green foam floral brick to anchor my branches in the pot. I left it natural although you can surely just spray paint it if you like.

Packages: I decided on white and red packages. I just went to Joanne’s and got an assortment of silk pouches, wedding cake boxes, favor boxes and treat boxes – just about all of them from the cake/wedding section.

Colors: I decided on Red, White and Green. I bought ribbons in these colors.

I had decided that each package would have a challenge and a gift. The trick was finding little gifts/treat that were not all candy but were small enough to fit the boxes.

Anyway, here is my list of what I included in our Advent Calendar. I also mention what gifts

1. Send someone you know (who would love to hear from you) a card today. (Stamps)

2. Think of someone who does nice things for you. Send them a Thank you card. It will make their day.  (Marbles) 

3. Do something nice at school for someone who is not your friend. It could be a kid in your class, a teacher or a cafeteria worker (Chocolate)

4. Give your Daddy the biggest hug, followed by a Squeeze and tell him how much you love him. Make & drink some hot chocolate together. (Small tin of hot Chocolate mix)

5.This is a coupon for a Mr.Gattis’s day with Mum.   Let’s see who gets more tickets.  You can cash it  in for a day that works for both of you.

6. Let’s go ice-skating sometime this week or next. Let’s invite a friend to go with us. Think hard and invite someone who does not usually hang out with you. Here is a chance to make a new friend.  (kids gloves from Target)

7. Please gather your family and read then the Christmas story from your Bible – Luke 2.

8. Make an artwork – it can be a drawing or painting. Send it to a grandparent – they will so love receiving something from you. (Christmas and stamps)

9. Let’s watch a Christmas movie together with the family. We can eat some cookies and drink hot chocolate. ($1 bill for a RedBox rental)

10. Look through the pantry and see if you can find a mix for some chocolate chip muffins or cookies. Good, get some help from Mum or Dad and start baking. When done, please share your cookies with someone in your neighborhood who could use some Christmas cheer. (small measuring cup)

11. Here are a few funny jokes for the Christmas season. See how many you can memorize and share the jokes with your family and friends. (I printed off some fun kid-friendly Christmas jokes).

12. Call your Grandpa/Papaw/Grandfather today – just to tell him that you miss him and cannot wait to see him again. Also ask him what he would like for Christmas. You could write a letter to Santa and make a request! (A Sharpie pen)

13. Ask your Mum if you can help her do something today? (Candy)

14. Today is the day for an Indoor Picnic. Be sure to help your mom and Dad pull it together and clean up after the picnic. (A Subway gift card)

15. This is secret for you and your Dad only. Don’t let your mom see this. Mum loves flowers no matter what time of year. How about sending her some flowers with a Big I  LOVE YOU message from all of you. (Parachute men – from the birthday favor section)

16.  Clues to a gift hidden in the house – ask Mummy for Clue #1 (we are still working on this but the goal is to have a quick scavenger hunt at home).

17. Learn a Christmas carol (iTunes gift card)

18. Please write your teacher a note telling him/her how much you have enjoyed being in their class. (Card stock and nice paper)

19. Pick your favorite music and have everyone in your family dance to it. Then, teach them a few dance steps

20. Christmas Riddle : What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Answer: Snowflakes (Frosted Flakes)

21. Time to go to the store and buy matching pyjamas for all 3 of you!

22. Time to email Santa with your 3 requests! Make sure to get your letter in! (calculator – I know this is random but he loves using a calculator)

23. Make a Christmas milkshake! It can be your family’s secret recipe.

24. Take silly Christmas family pictures (Christmas ornament)


This is my 2nd Advent Calendar that I made for a friend’s daughter.