Pinterest Tested Thursdays: Advent Calendar Box

A couple of years ago I started the advent calendar tradition with Johanna. No, we are not Catholic, but I do enjoy doing little things that lead up to Christmas. Not just things that bring my daughter pleasure, but activities that will also bring pleasure to others and show them love, just like we were showed love by God sending Christ to us.

Last year I used little cards and envelopes for her calendar, but this year I wanted something that I could use time and time again. Naturally I went to pinterest to get ideas!

That is where I ran into this pin. One project used the Karen Foster calendar box. It looks like this when you purchase it:

51UTfX1oPQL._SY300_Very straight forward, no frills. So I went back to pinterest and found some digital Christmas paper that I printed out on card stock and cut out using the guideline that comes in the package. Here’s my finished product!

12247858_526317690875034_3680546474146038367_oI’m pretty happy with how it came out. I did add some stickers to it to jazz it up a bit. Overall this was a very successful pinterest test. Just a word, the box is small. The drawers are really small, maybe 1.5 inches or so. This wasn’t a problem for me because I don’t usually add gifts inside of Johanna’s box, but activities. Any treats she gets we usually make together, so I’m going to put small papers inside of each box with the activity that we will do, and at times I will add a hershey’s kiss or some other small candy.

If you are looking for activities to do during the advent season, checkout my post from last year here. You can also check out this post that I found on pinterest. I plan to incorporate some things from that list into our advent season this year.

Do you celebrate advent? What are some of your favorite advent activities? What do you do to keep the spirit of Christmas alive?

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25 Days of Christmas Fun with Advent Activities!

Every year I look for new traditions to add to my families celebration of Christmas. Johanna’s first year I did the official santa letter, response letter from Santa and certificate. Then the next year I started the Christmas eve boxes where I fill a box for her and my husband with little things – pajamas, cologne, snacks, a coloring book, stickers, earrings, etc. Well this year I decided to add an advent calendar to the mix!

This came about because I was trying to figure out what kind of service activities my 3 year old could do during the Christmas season. It was hard to find something that actually got her involved, but then I started thinking about things we love to do. We are definitely going to do a Christmas child box, but what about baking cookies for our local fire department, the mailman, and ups delivery guy? How about sugar free treats for the local nursing home? Then I began thinking about all of the activities I wanted to do with her for the season and how exciting it would be. Me being a planner started to put together a list so that in December I wasn’t caught by surprise, and instead knew exactly what I was going to do when I was going to do it. An advent calendar made perfect sense! I know there may be some parents out there struggling with ideas of what to do, so I decided to share my list in case it could be helpful to you! Here are our 25 activities (and a couple of extras in case those don’t work out for whatever reason):

  1. Make and Decorate our family Christmas ornament
  2. Decorate a plate for santa
  3. Make Santa cookies and reindeer treats
  4. Write letter to Santa while sipping cider
  5. Frozen movie night
  6. Christmas Lights at Watkins Park
  7. Read a Christmas story
  8. Decorate the Christmas tree
  9. Make hot chocolate with all the toppings!
  10. Decorate gingerbread house
  11. Train ride with Santa
  12. Breakfast with Santa
  13. Operation Christmas Child
  14. Make cookies for our local nursing home
  15. Chocolate dipped pretzels, yummm!
  16. Make snickerdoodles and watch a christmas movie
  17. Make paper crowns and talk about the wisemen and the gifts they brought Jesus
  18. Make Glitter snow globes
  19. Christmas Eve Boxes!
  20. Have fun taking christmas family photos
  21. Make Christmas bark while singing carols
  22. Bake treats for the mailman and ups guy
  23. Take treats to the fire station
  24. Zoo lights
  25. Visit the holiday market in downtown DC
  26. The living Christmas Tree Music and Lights show
  27. Ice skating!
  28. Go to the movies to see the new Annie

And while I was browsing the internet to get more ideas of things to do, I came across this blog which had the brilliant idea of putting together an advent reading plan. It takes the various stories in the bible that talk about Christs birth, and breaks them up into 24 nights, so that you can read them and discuss them as a family. Awesome! Anything that puts the focus back on Jesus gets an Amen and toss of glitter from me! It’s so cool that she posted the breakdown of each day so you don’t have to go searching for the scriptures yourself.

Jesus-Storybook-Bible-reading-plan-for-Advent-free-printableThe bible she got the stories out of is the Jesus story bible. Pick it up if you can. It will make following her template easy peasy.

I pray this post has been a blessing to you and your family during the Christmas season. Please share what your favorite Christmas traditions are and how your family keeps the focus on Jesus as well!