Tag Archives: Advent Calendar

Creating Our Meaningful Advent Calendar

We began the tradition of an Advent Calendar 2 years ago.  I created on using some of our old mismatched gloves and socks and for the past 2 years we have filled it with lots of treats.  The kids think it is awesome to guess what is in each one and I enjoy not searching through all the leftover mittens for a match.  #winwin


Advent Calendar (Ortman)

This year I decided to take a different approach with it.  Honestly it is what I should have done from the beginning.  I wanted to know the real meaning behind the advent calendar.  I wanted the kids to know too.  So this year we used our old tradition and added some learning.

After using my good friend google to search for kid friendly explanations on how the advent calendar began, I decided to print it out and display it with our calendar.  Here is where Pinterest gets involved… rather than store all my links in an email I will never again find, I opted for a new board to store and share links.



I really liked the idea of having bible verses for the kids each day.  It gives us a reference point for the little kids and a place for the big boys to dig deeper if they want.  I found a wonderful link with some very basic verses (it is pinned to my board).  They work very well for my little boys and are maybe a little too short for the older ones but again it is a starting point for the older ones.  Next year I might try to create the story line with verses that work a little better for us. 🙂

So my next problem was what to do with each verse throughout the month.  If they don’t have a place they will get forgotten and if forgotten they mean nothing.  We are a visual house.  I really couldn’t decide between placing snowflakes by my advent calendar or I had no idea.  So back to google.  I found a few “create your own calendars” but I didn’t want to create a new setup nor did I want to have to buy five stars, five babies, five angels, 10 rings to place in the different days.  I met in the middle.  I chose to use pictures to reference instead.  It will cost me far less to print what I need and I don’t have to worry about little objects being left on the floor for me to step on.

Visual Aid and Verse Card Holder

Each image is attached to a piece of construction paper.  For day 1 the angel comes to visit Mary so an angel was the image I printed.  Now the pre-picked verses I found don’t move along as quickly as some so there are a few days that are doubled up. My kids don’t seem to mind.  I tried to find images that very closely followed the verses so that my 3 and 4 yo could easily figure out what we were talking about.  After we read and talk about each day, we add it to the coordinating image.

Advent Calendar Week 1

Now that we are seven days into the calendar we have found a rhythm.  We also take time to review the previous days before we add the current day. This has been great for all.  On day one the angel visited and that is all they remembered.  Today they remember that the angel’s name was Gabriel and he came to tell Mary she was going to have a baby and His name was going to be Jesus.  By the end of the month they are going to be able to recite the story of Jesus!!

I can’t forget to share that while we opted for verses this year we still placed a small treat in each day.  The treat is only to be eaten after each verse has been read and talked about. Works perfectly for everyone except the 22 month old.  She just tries to eat it through the package!

After this Christmas Advent Calendar project I have a new appreciation for teachers and the time they put into creating lessons for their students.  It is worth it!

Merry Christmas!


Crazy Mitten Overload

Dilema #1:

I found myself with 2 boys who loved their LEGO Advent Calendar last year and wanted another one this year.  I however couldn’t muster up the courage to spend $45 on the one they really wanted nor $30 on the less liked one.

Dilema #2:

After cleaning out my homes coat closet I found a couple dozen mismatched gloves and mittens.  I mean how many pairs can a family of 6 have??  Too many!!!  I guess you know kids…they lose matches faster than one can buy replacements.  My boys are now of the understanding if they lose the match they will, WILL, wear mismatched ones.  After playing the matching game I found myself with a heap of umatched and extra pairs.

What to do…

And then it struck me.  I could make my kids an advent calendar we can use each year…for pretty cheap!  I was thinking about the cute sock ones I had seen online.  Problem is that we seriously don’t have cute socks.  Umm, boys socks are really just athletic ones.  How many boys do you see where fancy Christmas ones or even pink, green, or red ones???  So my disappointingly ugly idea quickly transformed into a spectacular one.

Thank goodness my mom has a basement full of cute crafting leftovers that she so kindly shared a couple of years ago.  To create the calendar I honestly didn’t have to buy much more than the mini clothes pins and 3M Command hooks.  By the way, mini clothes pins are just that MINI!  They are barely an inch long but they have the best springs on them.

I would say it turned out pretty darn cute.  The “rope” is just twisted up pipe cleaners.  I simply started twisting in the middle of the red pipe cleaner.  This left half of the white one for me to twist with another red one.  It also left enough on each end to create a loop to put on the wall hook.

I decorated most of the gloves just because they didn’t look super Christmas/wintery.  I also added hand cut numbers to each one.  I would say I spent a good 2 hours creating but it was time well spent.

Need a project for all your mismatched mittens and gloves??

Need a project for all your mismatched mittens and gloves??

The boys were super excited about this project especially since now they will each get a small item/candy each day.  With the LEGO calendar they each could only open every other day.  Damon had odd numbered days, Mason even numbered days and then there was the prospect that Lincoln and Preston may want to help too 🙁

Now to fill with goodies!