If you’re looking for the best ideas for countdown calendars, you’ll find great options here for the holiday season. It’s no secret that daily gifts are a fun way to get pumped and excited about the holiday season. Plus, this is something that the whole family can join in on that will lead you right up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas
Two months ago I made a 25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar at a church activity and finally got to bust it out today as it is now December 1st!
To make the calendar we cut foam board into a tree shape, cut fabric and sprayed it with spray adhesive, stapling it onto the backside of the foam board, and then decorated them however we wanted. I wrapped it with some thick gold string and then cut out lots of different shapes and objects from old Christmas cards (another use of old Christmas cards!). I then bought some contact paper from Michael’s so that this project will last more than one season since I have little kids.
We then had some brass pins/tacks and gold string we used to attach the “ornaments” to the tree. I taped the string onto the back of the Christmas card cut-outs, and used tweezers (to hold the small pins) and a hammer to put them in place.
Then I hung up the ornaments, and voila, here’s my finished advent tree with advent ornaments!
I decided not to mark them with numbers either on the front or back, but just have a list (saved on my computer) of what goes along with each day of the month. There are a few reasons for this, but mostly so I have more flexibility and my kids can pick whichever ornament they want.
Since I completed the tree, I’ve been scouring the internet for great ideas to go along with each of the 25 days on my advent tree. I’ve never done an advent calendar, like, ever, so I am starting at square one. I know some people do a special treat each day, a piece of candy or something. But, I really wanted mine to be both religiously educational and filled with fun Christmas activities and memories!
For my 25 Days lists, I really liked these websites:
25 Days of Christmas Scripture Chain via thethingsilovemost.blogspot.com We’ll be using those scriptures all 25 days plus other activities.
25 Days of Advent Activities via All Things Simple – a good start, but several can only happen in Utah.
25 Way to Celebrate Christmas Advent Calendar via Dave Ramsey. A pretty good list!
Discover Christmas downloadable book via Discover the Scriptures. This book looks amazing and only costs $7.99. It’s full of activities, stories, memory verses, recipes, crafts, hands-on-projects, service ideas, and home-made gifts to help you explain the various traditions of Christmas, like “Why is the poinsetta popular at Christmas?” all from a very religious and spiritual viewpoint. They offer a free sample of a few of the “25 days” in the book, found HERE. I might have to buy this soon!
Visitindy.com – So we can hit up fun and cheap/free activities around our home town! On my “cheat sheet” for the advent calendar I’ve listed several options of things for us to do around town, circumstances allowing, that we could do that day as well!
When it comes to the best advent calendars that you can use for the Christmas season, there are so many ways that you can count down the days of Christmas countdown!
Christmas Calendar Ideas
There are so many different things that you can put into a 24-day calendar! Think desserts for a sweet tooth, or even branch out and check out various coffee advent calendars as well.
If you have a family member that is a beauty lover, look for options with hand creams or perfumes as holiday gifts. Mini surprises are always fun and a great way to start a new holiday tradition and a self-care day sounds super good!
If you’re looking for a cheap and fun idea, add Christmas jokes into small pockets to keep the holiday spirit going! Kids of all ages will love telling a new joke every day during the festive season.
For more advent calendar ideas, check out these:
18 Unique Non-Candy Non-Toy Advent Calendars for Kids & Adults
Creative Advent Ornaments for Your Advent Calendar
50+ Best Toy Advent Calendars for Kids of 2022
Adventure & Experience Gifts for Couples, Him & Her
LEGO Advent Calendars – Where to Get Them All in 2020!
A Simplified Book Advent Calendar Easy on the Budget
Be sure to check out my Ultimate List of Advent Calendars for Kids as well!
Daily Scriptures to Read To Count Down to Christmas
One of our favorite family traditions is to pick a new scripture daily to read together as a family as well. This gives us time together, time to slow down, time to listen, and time to reflect.
Day #1, December 1, we read Isaiah 7:14 and then went to Wal-mart to have our girls get a free picture taken with Santa! Before we left we explained who Santa was, how he’s similar to Jesus Christ (which there’s a great little lesson on that found at THIS site), and what we were going to do at Wal-mart. They were very excited until they actually met Santa at Wal-mart…. We managed to get a picture, and then the girls got a mini candy cane.
- Matthew 1:19-20
- Read: Alma 7:10
- Read 3 Nephi 1:19
- Read Luke 2:9-11
- Read Micah 5:2
- Read Isaiah 9:6
- Read Matthew 2: 1,16
- Read Matthew 1:23
- Read Philippians 2:11
- Play Holiday Bingo
- Read Matthew 2:9
- Read Hebrews 13:8
- Read Moses 6:52
- Read Luke 1:36
- Read Luke 1:37
- Read Acts 13:23
- Read 2 Nephi 26:3
- Read Luke 2:12-14
- Read Luke 2:15
- Read John 1:14
- Read Luke 2:40
- Read John 1:1
- Read John 1:15
- Read Psalms 98:4-6
Fun Daily Activities To Do Together as A Family For Christmas Countdown
- Make and bake cookies
- Sing holiday songs
- Drive around and see the Christmas lights and lawn decorations
- Bake and decorate a birthday cake for Jesus
- Read the Christmas story from the Bible and act it out
- Go to a “Favorite Things” Party (book club)
- Make and decorate a gingerbread house
- Make Holiday Puppy Chow Mix (recipe found HERE) and watch a holiday movie!
- Make or buy a new ornament for your Christmas tree
- Have a winter-filled playgroup!
- Make Cinnamon Candied Almonds
- Go to the Christmas Party at Church
- Staple paper together and illustrate a Christmas book!
- Make and bake Christmas sugar cookies for someone!
- Play Christmas “Minute-to-win-it” Games
- Drive around and see the Christmas lights and lawn decorations
- Watch old family movies
- Have a gingerbread house contest
- Make homemade Christmas cards
- Binge watch holiday classics
- Carol around town
- Make gift boxes for the community
- Have a living room campout
- Set out the stockings
- Open presents!
Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful advent calendar at Throwback Thursday.