I know you’re up to your eyeballs preparing for Thanksgiving. I am, too. But one of my favorite post-meal activities is to craft, so I make sure I have the craft supplies I need by Wednesday. As in today.
Yeah, there’s football. But I’ve never been good at just sitting there in front of the TV.
We’re headed to our in-laws today, and I’m bringing stuff to make Jesse Tree ornaments. But an advent calendar is another great Thanksgiving Day craft project—I’ve always had intentions on making one, but time slips by, and before I know it, it’s December 1. Kinda defeating to make one after that.
So I made one this week, and it couldn’t be simpler. It was made from things around the house and a quick trip to the local craft store.
Our super simple advent calendar
I should warn you in advance—I’ve been working on the calendar at night, so as to surprise the kids, so the photos aren’t the best. Night photos and all. Anyway.
I already had a large frame I snagged from the Habitat ReStore. It was glassless—perfect.
I then taped rows of ribbon along the back.
Then I bought some plain bookmarks from Joann’s. Sets of 20 were $2.50, so I had to buy two. Still not bad.
I was planning on using number stickers to label the tags 1 through 25, but I bumped into this scrapbook paper. Couldn’t be more perfect.
I cut out the numbers and glued them on upside down, near the bottom. I may coat the top with Mod Podge later, but I just wanted it done for now.
Then I folded them in half.
I had a few more sheets of scrapbook paper, which I cut into strips and gluestick-ed on clothespins. They’re the miniature versions, also from Joann’s.
Now, I knew I wanted an activity-oriented advent calendar, but I didn’t want to write anything permanent. We’ve spent Christmases in a wide variety of places; there’s no telling where we’ll be from year to year.
So, I just wrote activities on Sticky Notes. Yeah, I could make it look more festive… but if I wait to make everything perfect, it would never happen. My kids won’t care, and I’m fine with it.
This way, I can change activities from year to year, or even switch them around this year as the month rolls on. A fresh coat of snow today? Let’s bump up “make a snowman” to today and push back “bake cookies.”
Then, once we’ve done the day’s activity, we’ll flip the card inside out and hang the little picture.
Here are this year’s activities:
- Open a gift! (Inside are new Christmas pajamas)
- Find and decorate a Christmas tree
- Go downtown for the Christmas parade
- Go to The Nutcracker! (this is just the girls… the boys will probably do something manly, like have a snowball war)
- Drink hot cocoa and watch The Polar Express
- String popcorn garland for the tree
- Help address cards and watch classic Christmas cartoons
- Make paper snowflakes
- Attend our homeschool co-op’s Christmas party!
- Get together with family friends to play games
- Pop popcorn and Watch Elf
- Make a new ornament for the tree
- Go to the local museum (which has recreated Christmas from the 19th century)
- Build a snowman
- Bake cookies
- Buy a gift for a child with Angel Tree
- Walk around Sisters (a nearby small town that’s decked out for the holidays)
- Make snow angels
- Watch A Christmas Story
- Skype with friends to wish them a merry Christmas
- Make easy gingerbread houses
- Drive around and look at Christmas lights
- Watch A Nativity Story
- Go to the Christmas Eve service at church
- Have a Merry Christmas!
If you plan on making an advent calendar, don’t forget to do it early—as in, before December 1. But don’t stress over making it elaborate or perfect. Your kids will be excited either way.
What’s one of your favorite holiday activities?