Advent Calendars are a Christmas tradition in many homes

They are usually a beautifully decorated page with paper doors made with a perforation that are opened every day in December until Christmas. Behind those little doors are pretty pieces of holiday artwork. The calendar itself is usually very pretty with intricate artwork and sparkles. Other advent calendars might be made of wood or cardboard and when you open the door there is a little piece of candy or other type of holiday trinket. The first printed advent calendar was distributed in 1902 and they are still made today. It is easy and inexpensive to make your own advent calender for the kids. You can make them from things you have around the house and just put numbers 1 to 24 on them and put a little Christmas surprise in each one.

Mitten or Sock Advent Calendar

How many times do the kids loose one sock or one mitten. You can go through 20 pairs in a short period of time. Take all those mismatched socks and mittens and use them for an advent calender. Make square tags from card stock and put numbers 1 through 24 on the tag. Punch with a hole punch in one corner and string a piece of yarn through the hole. Use a large eye plastic needle used for sewing knitting and crochet projects together and bring one end through the sock or mitten then tie the yarn in a bow or knot. This will identify the mitten or sock for the day of the month. Put a trinket or candy inside each mitten or sock. Find an area out of the way and string some heavy twine from nails or hooks and hang the socks and mittens individually with close pins. Each day the kids will take the appropriately numbered sock or mitten down and receive the surprise inside.

Container Calendar

You can find lots of different containers that make great advent calenders. Put numbers on small Chinese take out boxes and stack them on a table or on the mantle. You can get these boxes in all kinds of colors and patterns. Use little square boxes or use small paper coffee cups covered with tissue paper and secured around the lip of the cup. Paint chalkboard paint on the front of boxes so you can put the numbers on with chalk. Small gift bags also make great containers for surprises. You can hang them from twine stretched from one side of the fireplace to the other with close pins. Put all those baby food jars you just can bring yourself to throw away to make the calender. Paint the numbers on the jar lid or on the jar themselves.

Christmas Tree Calendar

Purchase a small artificial tree that is about 1 or 2 feet high. Make little horns out of scrapbook paper by cutting the paper into squares. Place the square on a table so that is in a diamond shape and curl it into a cornucopia or horn shape. Use tape to secure it in place then punch holes at opposite ends at the top. Insert yarn and tie it on each end to make a handle. Number the horns with a marker and put a treat inside. Hang all the horns on the tree and each day one will be removed until Christmas when you will have a naked tree to be decorated however you wish. Re-decorating the tree makes a good project for kids that are excited and may be hard to control on Christmas eve.

Toilet Paper Roll Calender

Collect 24 toilet paper rolls. Cut a squares of tissue paper that will fit over the opening at each end of the toilet paper roll and still have a little left over to tie on the roll with some yarn or twine. Attach the squares of tissue paper over one end of each roll. It helps to add a little glue around the edge of the roll. Stick the tissue paper on and tie the twine or yarn around the edge to reinforce it. Place a trinket inside the roll and adhere another square of tissue paper in the same manner. Use double sided tape to make a pyramid with the rolls with eight on the bottom going to four at the top and stick them together. Use a marker to put numbers on the front tissue paper and the kids just have to punch through the tissue paper to get to the treats.

Sure, you could just go out and buy an advent calender, but when you make your own, you can control what goes in them. Maybe you don’t want your kids to have candy in the morning when the calender is usually done. Put cute little ornaments in the calender that go on a tree, or little favors from party stores. You can find fun little plastic games and crafts. Put in some fun shaped erasers, pencils and markers, key chains, small pieces of jewelry, hair accessories, little toys, and other items. A homemade advent calender is fun to make and the family will enjoy getting their daily surprises up until Christmas.