Last year I shared a DIY advent calendar fairly last minute, but it had a great response. This year, Michael and I revamped the idea and came up with a twist on last year's design, added some new activities, and I wanted to share it early enough so that you all could DIY one of your own. Sound like fun? I think so! I'm so ready for December to get here so that we can put it to use! (Though, I'm also still really enjoying November and the Thanksgiving season.)
Like I shared in last year's post, the point of an activity-filled advent calendar was to make memories together and get in the holiday spirit. We love chocolate, and the chocolate advent calendars of our childhoods were great, but memories created with the people you love last so much longer than a piece of chocolate!
- 25 cards + envelopes*
- 25 clothes pins
- Decorative ribbon (I used two 2 yard strips)
- Thumbtacks (this is what we used to affix the ribbon to the wall)
- Writing utensils
- 24 activities to do throughout the month of December (the 25th is, of course, Christmas)
*Thoughts on choosing the right cards for this project: I am a fan of using what I have available, so I didn't want to run out an buy a bunch of new cards for this project (I'm a snail mail writer and therefore an avid stationary collector.) However, I recommend staying away from glitter cards. Though these cards are fun and sparkly, they were hard to write on. This made me switch to painting phrases on them, but that didn't go very well, either, because the glitter clumps up in your brush. In the end I just wrote between the glitter stripes (you'll be able to see this below) which was not necessarily the look I was going for, but it wasn't important enough to me to buy more supplies.
Directions for this project are fairly straight forward. Date your envelopes #1-25 and write your activities on the inside of the cards. Last year Michael and I shuffled most of them up and put them in envelopes randomly. This year there are a lot of local events we want to attend and our holidays look a little busier, so we planned our month out with more mindfulness and intention. That way each day should hold an activity that is more manageable for what's actually going on that day and feels like an enhancement to our week not a burden.
One thing I added this year was the addition of Christmas quote or verse on the front of each card so that we could rehang them after we open the envelope. Last year we just put a slip of paper inside each envelope and took them down as we went, but our wall also began to look rather sad and empty as the month progressed. This year, with the addition of the quotes, we'll have a fun Christmas themed wall throughout the month!
Ideas for Activities to Include:
- Watch a Christmas movie (Bachelor Mother, an old film starring Ginger Rogers, is one of my very favorites!)
- Go to the Charleston boat parade
- Go see Star Wars (Isn't this one on everyone's list? ;) )
- Make hot chocolate and drive around looking at Christmas lights
- Make a wreath
- Make a garland
- Go ornament shopping
- Get a Christmas tree
- Decorate the Christmas tree
- Go caroling with friends
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or charity
- Go to a store and see who can find the best/funniest/most thoughtful/etc gift for the other person for $5
- Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
What activities are you looking forward to this Christmas season? Do you have an advent tradition?