One of our favorite family traditions around Christmas is the Advent calendar. I thought everyone knew about or had an advent calendar each year, but when I delivered one to a friend the other day, she had never seen one and didn’t know the story. Here’s the story behind the advent calendar some fun ideas.
So, I thought it would be fun to share the story with you and show you some different styles of Advent calendars. Remember, we are no Martha Stewarts around here, so I’m not going to tell you how to hand craft one (except for one easy one). I always buy ours and then I have one that is more decoration and not really used.
The Advent has German roots and is “a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas.” Most modern Advent Calendars count down from December 1st to December 24th, but the true Advent period is 4 weeks and ”starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, which is the Sunday from November 27 to December 3 inclusive.” (Thanks Wikipedia)
That’s the fancy and official definition, but basically any Advent calendar starts December 1st to mark the days leading up to Christmas. There is a lot of history with the Advent and it’s a fun lesson to share with your family.
Here are several types of Advent Calendars you can get, but my favorite is from Trader Joe’s. It has chocolate squares behind every door! Yum.
Alright, this one is from Martha Stewart. Sorry.
Our simplest Advent calendar to date, this is a minimalist take on the holiday tradition: Form the shape of a Christmas tree with envelopes in various sizes, and mark each with adhesive numbers. Stuff them with thin, lightweight presents, such as gift cards and stickers. (You can also see more of our advent calendar ideas.) Use painters’ tape to secure the envelopes to the wall.
Vinyl numbers, 1 1/2″, $4.25 per pack (4 of each number), and Rouge envelopes, from $5.25 for 25, paperpresentation.com. Pillows, Eep! in Cocoa, and Herds, in Deep Red; 19 1/2″ square, $55 each, by Skinny LaMinx.
Amy, over at The Idea Room, has a really special and re-usable Advent Calendar.
Look at this one from Better Homes and Gardens. It has the 12 days Christmas instead, just in case you forgot to start on the first, you can start on the 12th!
Finally, this is the one I use as decor. I got it at Target a few years ago and you could fill it with treats, messages, bible verses, or anything that will fit behind the little doors.