Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY Advent Calendar (including a list of ideas!)

This Christmas is going to be really different for us.  We usually go to my Grandma's house for lunch, and then head over to my parents' house for a few days to spend time with my whole family.

This year, baby is due the week after Christmas, so we're staying home so I won't have to travel. I'm excited to spend the day in our own home, but I'm also a little sad that my Christmas tradition is being altered a bit.

Because of all the changes, I decided this is the year that we're going to really kick our own family traditions into full gear.  This advent calendar is something I think will be exciting for the boys, and the activities can be changed each year as they get older.

I went to Michaels and got a few supplies ^.  All the Christmas ribbon was 50% off, and I had a couple of really great coupons from the Michaels app.

I want to be able to keep this calendar year after year, so I wrote the numbers on the burlap tags, and then wrote the daily activities on a cute, colorful tag that I clothes pinned behind the burlap one.  (I can replace the paper tags each year.)

And here's our list for this year!  I included a little bit of everything on it.

1-Open Christmas pjs (I can't wait for this...they just came in from The Orange Iris, and they're ridiculously cute!)
2-Write letters to Santa (The town of Cary has a Santa mailbox where you can mail your letters to Santa, and he'll write one back to fun!)
3-Read a Christmas book (Janssen has a really great list)
4-Drink hot chocolate (this will probably be done every night.) :)
5-Make Christmas Crunch...and take some to a friend.
6-Pay for the person behind us in a drive-thru line. (I guess I'll have to get some chicken minis this day.)
8-Color and play Nativity matching game
9-Make Christmas goodies for neighbors
10-Clean toys (and donate some)
11-Make Christmas cards for friends
12-Watch Home Alone (so excited about this one!)
13-Attend the Apex Nativity (Free and open to all, by the way)
14- Watch Elf  
15-Make a Christmas craft
16-Visit the nursing home
17-Read a Christmas book
18-Drink apple cider
19-Make Christmas cards for grandparents/great grandparents
20-Drive around to see Christmas lights
21-Read the Christmas story from the Bible
22-Write about major events from 2014 in journal
24-Make cookies for Santa/snacks for reindeer 

Another benefit of this calendar is for the boys to see how many days are left until Christmas. They asked me yesterday if it was Christmas Eve (we put up our decorations this past weekend), so hopefully this will avoid the "are we there yet?!" question over and over. :)

I'm excited about Christmas, but this week I'm most excited about Thanksgiving!!  I can't believe it's already here.  

What are your favorite holiday traditions?!


Plutonium Sox said...

Fabulous ideas :) I am also making an agent calendar this year. I really do need to get on with it so thanks for the reminder!x

Unknown said...

I have been wanting to make an advent calendar this year and I absolutely love this one! Such a cute idea...I may have to borrow some of these ideas :)

Helene in Between said...

Ashley! this is so so cute! What a great idea!

Unknown said...

that's so cute that they already asked if it was christmas eve! i love that advent calendar. remember the days when everyone would pay for the person behind them? that was the best.

xoxo, kiely

Katie said...

i love this!! i am working on an advent calendar (Really more for me than addilyn I guess) but it will be a fun tradition! Thanks for the list - I may use some!!

Paige Flamm said...

I absolutely love this! I've been wanting to make an advent calendar for the last few years, and this one is so simple and fool proof! Thanks for all the great ideas!

Because of Jackie said...

You must have read my mind, because I was JUST searching Pinterest for homemade advent calendar ideas! Your is perfection, and looks idiot proof (which I NEED!) Plus, baby is almost here! Crazy, right?

Erin LFF said...

So so cute! Love all the ideas on your list- would it be corny to make one of these for just Jared and I? hehe

Rachel said...


Caroline said...

This is so great! I love the idea of an activity advent calendar - makes it an elongated surprise every day - I mean, once a chocolate's gone, it's gone. With an activity, you get to savor it the whole day :)

rooth said...

Some of these activities are darling, like visiting the nursing home

Tayler Morrell said...

I love this! It's so cute and has such great ideas! I can't wait to use it with my son next year! (He's only 4.5 months old right now)

Kelley Gilster said...

This is awesome! I love your Christmas list of activities, makes me wanna do one too!

Janssen said...

You are one fun mom!

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