Christmas Countdown

A December 1st post seems like the perfect time to feature advent calendars. Did you have one as a child? Do you have one now?

In addition to various commercial calendars with little cardboard doors behind which small chocolate figures awaited, I remember a homemade felt Christmas tree, and numbered pockets holding ornaments for kids to attach. It wasn’t quite like this one, but the idea is the same.



The calendar we use now is one I made at a church women’s activity long years ago. Many advent calendars feature a daily treat, so it can be easy to get into a “what am I getting today?” mentality. I like the way that our felt banner helps us focus on the journey of Mary and Joseph as they await the birth of Jesus. When our kids were younger, much attention was paid to keeping track of whose turn it was to move Mary and Joseph (and the donkey) to the next numbered spot. These days, we tend to get behind–the kids are older and have many things taking up their brain space. But they’re still willing to take a turn and get the travelers back on schedule.


Mary and Joseph and the donkey at the beginning of their journey



The long journey


Baby Jesus hides out behind the scenes until his big entrance.


One year a friend invited me to a gathering where we put together numbered squares that can be used in a variety of ways–they can cover the cups of a mini-muffin tin where Christmas treats are hidden, or they can be displayed on a stand, or clipped to a ribbon, etc. The scrapbooking supplies needed to make this would be a challenge to assemble for a solo project, but it was a great group activity. (Thanks again, Naomi!)




There are enough DIY advent calendars out there that you could easily spend the majority of the Christmas season looking at them. I’m content to share just a few with you. I saw many that were pretty complicated, but I lean towards those that look like they’ll bring enjoyment rather than stress to the season. I hope your holiday countdown will be jolly and bright!


From the blog In the Little Red House


The source is in German, but this I can figure out without translation.


This alpine scene, on the other hand, makes me want directions in English.





If you like the idea of a countdown that focuses on things to do, I can recommend the Light the World project from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The invitation for week one is to find a way to serve. Learn more here.



[Images: Katieemrich, El Guapo x 4, inthelittleredhouse,, via pinterest,, hostess with the mostess]


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