{Christmas} Advent Calendar

I am so excited about the holiday this year…at 11 and 6 years-old, my kids are in prime excitement age…and it is definitely contagious!


Advent Calendars are always a fun way for kids count down to Christmas. I realized this weekend that December 1 is days away, so I had to get it in gear so we’d be ready to go! Nothing whips kids into a Santa Frenzy like daily gifts on display!

Advent Calendar

My mantra this season is Minimize and Simplify! I’m determined to enjoy every moment, and the way for that to happen, is if I keep things simple and stay organized. So this year’s Advent Calendar is short on time and money, but long on sweetness and sentiment.

Start with a set of party tins, typically found in the wedding favors section of the craft store….with a coupon, they are about $12. You’ll also need some magnets and decorative tape.

Advent Calendar

The tins aren’t metal, so you have to adhere the magnets to the back. These are sticker magnets, but didn’t hold well to the tins, so I just hot glued them on.

Advent Calendar
Ah man, is your skin as dry as mine?!

Next is the fun part…filling the tins with goodies! They are quite small, so the little snack-sized candies leftover from Halloween are perfect. Most of the tins also contain slips of paper, some with activities, and others with a riddle leading them on a treasure hunt to find a bigger treat somewhere in the house.

Our activities include:

Family Movie Night…ELF!
Check out the neighborhood Christmas lights.
Make hot chocolate.
Go ice skating.
Make popcorn balls.
Purchase gifts for an Angel Tree family.
Make sweet treats.
Take treats to the elderly.
Make paper snowflakes, hang in the window.
Breakfast for Dinner, served picnic-style while watching a Christmas show.
Roast marshmallows in the chiminea.
Read Luke 2, the birth of Jesus.

Be sure to consult your calendar, so you’re able to carry out the activities on those days!

Advent Calendar

For the numbers, I just typed all different fonts and sizes, then cut cut them out with a scalloped punch. The favor set comes with printable stickers, but I’m terrible at figuring those templates out. My numbers are just setting inside the tins.

Advent Calendar

To keep them sealed until their given day, I added decorative tape along the seam.

Advent Calendar
 Advent Calendar

We arranged them in the shape of a Christmas tree, on the side of the refrigerator. You could use colored paper, or add a bow at the top, if you wanted a more ornate look.

Advent Calendar

The kids can hardly wait to get started on December 1, and are already trying to sneak a peek!

Advent Calendar

Watching them race to the calendar each morning is one of my favorite things about the holidays.

Advent Calendar

Our Advent Tree and Muslin Bags Calendars of years past were more elaborate, but the subtlety of this tree is perfect for our laid-back attitude this season.

Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar

Do you have an Advent Calendar…for your kids, hubby, or even yourself!? There’s still time to crank one out!

Leave a Comment

35 Comments

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I LOVE this, it seems so do-able! Thanks for sharing!!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  2. So fun! You can reuse it every year too! I bet they are dying to dig into those:)

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  3. Laurie wrote:

    so easy and so fabulous….do i have time to get it done??!!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  4. Cute! I like the decorative tape around the edge – a good deterrent for curious hands.

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  5. Brigitte wrote:

    Even though I'm officially an empty nester, I have a Advent calendar that's a banner, made with scrapbook supplies. Each day is a teenie envelope and mine are empty – I'll have to wait for g'kids to actually use them!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  6. Erin wrote:

    What a great idea!!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  7. This is SOOOO cute! Good job Mama! Oh…I got my Christmas craft already to link up with you next week!!!! Yay Christmas!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  8. We are so on the same page – I'm all about the easy and simple this year too! Our advent calendar is on the giant chalkboard calendar and I just wrote down a fun little activity for us to do each day. Easy peasy!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  9. Your Advent calendar is boss. xoxo

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  10. Love it- so so cute!!!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  11. Vel Criste wrote:

    Cassie this is perfect!!!!! I have been thinking my brains out on how to do an advent calendar this year, quickly and easily, this is perfect! I will do this and share it with you! Thank you, your a life saver!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  12. So creative! Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  13. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing! xo Kristin

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  14. Hannah wrote:

    So cute! Growing up I always loved getting to open advent calendars. My favorites were always the ones with chocolate. We also had "little bear" who would visit a different room in the house each day until he finally made it to the living room by the tree on Christmas Day–it was made out of cloth and stuffing and hung on the wall. Instead of doing one this year, I think I am going to do a 12 Dates of Christmas for the hubby.

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  15. such a great idea, thanks for sharing!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  16. Bonnie wrote:

    I absolutely love your blog. I also love that you love Canada (my home!!). I have been looking for an easy Advent calendar for our family and now I think I will do this one. It is great! Thank-you!!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  17. That is so cute! I'm working on mine now…taking inspiration from what you did last year!

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  18. lindley wrote:

    Simple or not, this is my favorite of your Advent calendars. Love that its so cute, but especially that its so out of the way, not taking up any valuable space which is at a premium this time of year. One of your best ideas – until kids get home, think I'll do a modified one just for the two of us w/ movies, dinner out, Scrabble, walks, etc. Genius!! xox

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  19. Such a great idea (as usual!). Maybe the hubs and I will do one to ensure we get lots of date nights in 🙂

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  20. Too cute. Oh no, December 1 is Saturday. I better get going.

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  21. Rea T wrote:

    this is a really cute and fun idea cassie 🙂
    i'm thinking of something similar to this…let's see what i could come with it, this is really inspiring!

    huggies***
    rea

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  22. Such a cute idea. I've been eying tins like that to use as a new spice rack… but probably couldn't use those inexpensive ones because they aren't sealed, hm. I love how you do a new advent calendar every year. So fun. I want to come live at your house at Christmas time!!! : )

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  23. This is darling, Cassie! We were just working on our last night! Such a great time of year. And so fun to have little treats inside!!!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  24. Such a cute idea! Love it!!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  25. Megan wrote:

    Girl, you are so creative! I love how you arranged them like a tree on the fridge! I adore it!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  26. Jessica wrote:

    Ours looks the same but was store bought. Our activities are similar, but I only fill a day or two in advance so I can factor in the mood of the household (better night for skating or a movie) and any activities that pop up (visit Santa, see cousins in their holiday show).

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  27. Kriss wrote:

    Such a great idea!!! I'm planning to minimize and simplify too! ESP since we just found out after three adoptions that we are pregnant with twins! -kriss

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  28. Ellora wrote:

    So cute!! And looks easy to create. I love that it doesn't take up a lot of space!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  29. This is such a great idea! I love your activities that you have inside, too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this with us! I didn't even think about just doing one for my husband and I (we don't have any kiddos yet!), but that's a great idea! Thanks, Cassie!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  30. This makes me think about all the advent calendars we had when I was a kid…grandma used to send us the ones with the little doors that had chocolate behind them (c: I definitely need to get on this pronto, the kids would be *SO* excited! And really, that's why I do everything for Christmas…otherwise, you know it'd be a bust (c;

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  31. Johanna wrote:

    This a nice idea Cassie. I especially like that there is also family activities. In most families these activities can be really special for kids who usually do not have the possibility to spend so much time with their families.

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  32. Such a cute advent calendar! I love it! I need to think of something for our house!

    Posted 11.29.12 Reply
  33. Cindy wrote:

    Loved your idea and made one, too!! Thanks and Merry Christmas!!
    Loving…Laughing…Loving…
    http://www.storiesbycindy.blogspot.com

    Posted 12.1.12 Reply
  34. So darling! I love that you keep the contents a mystery and the added detail with the tape around the containers! And thanks for the tip on the containers, I haven't seen them before but I think I am in love!

    xo,
    Jen

    Posted 12.3.12 Reply
  35. Gr8 and you can reuse these too! So affordable… I like the idea of reusing Halloween treats! I always throw so much away.

    Posted 1.2.13 Reply