advent calendar

Mini Tree Advent Calendar + Free Template

It’s advent calendar time! Anyone who has read this site knows I love advent calendars. In our family we print out a list of Christmas related activities and put one in each box with a little toy or candy. Some activities are big, like “go see the Nutcracker” or “Sit on Santa’s lap” but others are simple, like: “Drink Spiced Cider” or “Hang Mistle Toe.” I started doing this as a way to avoid missing Christmas. Sometimes it gets so busy that we forget to do the things that make us love the Holidays in the first place. This helps me make time for the fun traditions and my children love it. (Check out our other advent calendars here.)

This might be my favorite advent yet. All you need is the free downloadable template and glue to make this little forest come to life.

Click through for full details and sources.


Holiday Box Advent + Free Printable

by Amanda Jane Jones

Happy early Christmas! Here’s another free advent printable for you to work on over the long holiday weekend. All you need are twenty-four 3x3inch boxes (bigger is alright if you don’t mind a border), tape, scissors and the printouts! Fill with fun gifts and treats…you’re good to go! The project takes 30 minutes tops!

Click the button below to download!

Advent Calendar Iron on + Free Printable

I know no one wants to think about Christmas yet but December 1st is almost a week away. With advent calendars you have to plan ahead a bit. I really love advent calendars (see: here). When we first got married we made it a tradition to do some sort of little ritual or token everyday that would get us in the mood for Christmas. They can be little things like drink spiced cider or big things like go see the Nutcracker. This is the first year Moses really understands what’s happening so I’m excited to continue our tradition with kids. I’m so happy to team up with Amanda Jane Jones who designed this beautiful printable. These little sacks are so easy to make. All you need is Iron-On transfer paper and 24 little sacks. Once they are filled with activities and little toys and treats I’m going to hang them on the wall with a little washi tape.

Materials Needed:

Iron-On transfer paper, 6″x4″ Cotton Muslin Bags, iron, printer.

Step 1: Download the free printable by clicking here (the images will be reversed so that once they are ironed on they will be correct.) Then print them on iron on transfer paper (you can purchase this at an office supply store) and cut out rectangles.
Step 2: Place each rectangle with the image side touching the muslin bag.
Step 3. With a very hot iron (no moisture) press down on each bag for 1-2 minutes.

Step 4. Once it is cool peel up the corner and pull the paper off. Easy-peasy.

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Advent Calendar

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time then you know I really get into Christmas. One of the ways I really like to celebrate is to do an advent calendar but do small activities everyday to get us ready for Christmas. (I hate the feeling when you realize Christmas is a few days away and you haven’t taken time to enjoy it.) I put together a large list of Christmas activities. Some are big like: See the Nutcracker ot Do the Handel’s Messiah singalong. But most are small like: drink hot cocoa or watch It’s a Wonderful life. We loved doing this even before we had kids and I hear older kids LOVE it. Here is part of the list.

Go Ice Skating
Watch It’s a Wonderful Life, make spiced cider.
Exchange gifts
Make Christmas Cookies for friends.
Find Mistletoe, hang it in our house and kiss under it.

See the whole list here.

Check out where to get this beautiful advent and find my other favorite advent calendars right here.

Advent Calendar Ideas

I had a few people ask me for my advent calendar activity list. These are ideas I’ve gathered for the last two years. My friend Rachel gave me a list last year and Emily also gave me a few suggestions last year, and some of these are family traditions.

Go Ice Skating
Watch It’s a Wonderful Life, make spiced cider.
Exchange gifts
Make Christmas Cookies for friends.
Find Mistletoe, hang it in our house and kiss under it.
Address and Mail Christmas Cards
Go to Borders and Pick out one new Christmas CD.
Go to The Nutcracker
Handel’s Messiah Sing Along
Leave out wooden shoes on December 5
Go to the Oakland Temple to see the Nativity
Make Thick Hot Chocolate and Homemade Marshmallows
Host a Christmas Sweater Party
Put up a ribbon sash for Christmas cards
Donate canned goods
Give neighbors a present
Put up a wreath
Make a Gingerbread house
Make a popcorn garland
Make hot chocolate and read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Sing (or listen) to favorite Christmas songs
Drive around to see neighborhood lights
Go out and see public light display
Read Christmas story from the Bible and the Book of Mormon
Open a gift (new stocking or pajamas or pillowcase)
Make a family traditional dessert
Eat out at a festive restaurant
Go to a seasonal movie
Tell stories of childhood Christmas around the fire
Have a romantic candlelit dinner by the Christmas tree
Make decorative sugar cookies
Sign up to purchase gifts for a needy child
Host a Christmas dessert party
Write out a Christ-centered goal to start early for the New Year
Have a movie party (classic Christmas clips)
Go to a Christmas Concert
Attend City tree lighting event
Have a full traditional breakfast while listening to Christmas music

{This advent calendar from Target}