25 Days of Christmas

Family Advent Calendar

by , posted on December 1st, 2010 in Parties & Celebrations


As a kid, I knew Christmas was coming when my parents broke out the advent calendar. Each night before bed, my brothers, sister and I would rock, paper, scissors our way to find out which of us was the lucky one to open that night’s little window. We’d peel pack the cardboard to reveal some hidden picture: a fox, Santa’s boot, an angel.

My parents were clever—they never bought us a candy filled calendar. I can only imagine the ruckus we’d create fighting over who got the chocolate each evening. No, our calendar was more of a simple treat and honestly, for us kids at least, it was used as a countdown to present opening time more than anything else.



As an adult, I’ve realized that I take the lead up to Christmas for granted. Every year, I am swamped with work and the whole season passes me by in the blink of an eye. But this Christmas I’m going to try to make a change. This Christmas, we’re doing a Family Advent Calendar.

The idea: Somewhere around dinner, our kids are going to open up a little muslin bag and pull out an activity we’ll do together as a family. I want to keep the activities simple and inexpensive. My kids are still little enough to think it’s a pretty cool idea. I want to take every opportunity I can to celebrate this.

For this project you’ll need:
muslin cut into 9 by 3 1/2 inch strips
pinking shears
hole punch

To make:

Fold muslin in half. Sew 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch in from edge up each of the long sides. Trim around with pinking shears. Write activities on strips of paper. Roll up then insert into muslin bags. Print out numbers on cardstock. Cut around numbers to form circles. Punch hole in top. String ribbon through hole and tie around bags.



What’s on our list:
Decorate the room
Look at holiday lights
Dance to Christmas music
Make popcorn
Decorate sugar cookies
Build a train track
Make gifts for our friends
Deliver stollen to neighbors
Wrap presents
Drink hot cocoa
Read the Grinch that Stole Christmas
Deliver toys to Toys for Tots
Cut out paper snowflakes
Pick a charity to support
Call Grandma & Grandpa
Write our Christmas lists
Make chalkboard Santas
Make finger puppets
Decorate the tree
Adopt a family
Watch a movie together
Sing carols
Put on a puppet show
Make a garland
Play a board game

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13 Responses to “25 Days of Christmas”

  1. Lori-Anne Says:

    December 1st, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    What a fantastic idea! With three Advent calendars already on the go (my husband’s family are European and VERY into Advent calendars… and excess) the novelty is starting to feel lost – but this idea has such a wonderful togetherness about it that I think we simply MUST add it! Thanks :)

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks Lori-Anne! I wanted to slow it down a bit this season. I feel like I’ve missed too many to let this one slip by.

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Plus, I thought it would be a clever way to make the most out of the season without spending a lot on trinkets that will fill up the house and I’d just end up throwing out later.

  2. Claudia Says:

    December 1st, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I LOVE this! What a wonderful way to celebrate childhood and family. A great way to make everyone slow down and enjoy this special time of year. Thanks for sharing!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks Claudia! I’m thrilled you liked it!

  3. Megan Says:

    December 2nd, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    This is darling! I think I am going to copy! New follower from Bloggy Moms!

    Love for you to check me out at http://1funkywoman.blogspot.com


    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks Megan!

  4. claire Says:

    December 2nd, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Ahh Really sweet idea Jen!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks so much Claire!

  5. Kirsten Says:

    December 4th, 2010 at 2:58 am

    well looking around at the um…. SEVEN Advent calendars we’ve got on the go, I think that we fall in the ‘excessive’ camp. But this year, I’ve done the same as you – instead of little gadgets & trinkets, we’ve interspersed activities and candy through the month. A friend mentioned something interesting – that at least once a week, they get ‘the gift of giving’ – the activity is giving time/money/food to someone else. I like that, turning it into gift giving.

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    That is a lovely idea!

  6. Ann Williams Says:

    December 6th, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    this is wonderful! Thank you so much for the idea!

  7. Cindy Conrad Says:

    December 23rd, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I LOVE this! What a wonderful way to celebrate childhood and family. A great way to make everyone slow down and enjoy this special time of year. Thanks for sharing!

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