Christmas Advent Calendar

Christmas Advent Calendar

One of the magic things about Christmas is the build up to Christmas Day.  We use an advent calendar to help us count down the days.  It’s become one of our Christmas traditions! Last year, I created an easy Christmas Advent Calendar and I’m doing it again for 2011. Keeping in line with my neutral/red theme, I’ve gone with a paper box Christmas Tree Advent Calendar.  It’s very easy to make (took me 30 minutes).

{Our Christmas Advent Calendar}

christmas advent calendar


Pre-Made Gift Boxes (or print the template below)

Craft Glue

A rectangle box (piece of wood; heavy duty cardboard; cake board)

Wrapping paper

Decoration for top (star; angel; pom pom)

Treats/Notes (25, one for each box)

Christmas Story/Activity Template (optional)


1. Wrap the box, wood or cardboard in wrapping paper of your choice. This makes the base of the Christmas Tree Box Advent Calendar.

2. Glue down 7 boxes to the base as shown below. Keep in mind you will need to open the boxes from the front.

how to make an easy advent calendar

3. Repeat with a layer of 6 boxes. Then 5, 4 and finally 3.

4. Label each box with a number, 1 – 25.  Numbers can be random, so the kids have to hunt for the right one, or in sequence (as I have done).  I used a permanent marker to draw the numbers on each box; you can buy number stickers or use scrapbooking techniques to make it look neater (and prettier).

5. Glue the decoration on top. I purchased the delightful paper angel from Veronica from Phoenix Trading. You can use another light decoration like a  Paper Plate Angel, star or pom pom instead.

6. Fill each box with notes/treats.

{glue box in place so it can be opened from the front}

christmas advent calendar treats inside


Ready made gift boxes are sold in packs at discount and craft stores like Spotlight (they are very affordable).  If you would rather do your own, feel free to print these templates on cardstock.

{click the picture for the PDF file}

star gift box template     gift box template

Follow the Christmas Story With Activity Ideas

As we open the Christmas Advent Calendar, our family will be following along with the Christmas Story, and doing a short activity each day.  If you want to follow along too, you can print the PDF file below.  It’s filled with short readings and activities broken down into 25 days. I cut each day’s story out and put it inside the box with a special treat.

{click the picture for the PDF file}

Christmas Advent calendar

Does your family use a Christmas Advent Calendar?

2010 Advent Calendar

Take a look at our Advent Calendar for last year.

{click the picture to see my 2010 Christmas Advent Calendar}

Easy Advent Calendar

To see pictures of the entire range of Christmas Crafts on this blog, click here: Christmas Crafts.

Christmas Crafts

Christmas Candy Cane Reindeer Craft

Magazine Christmas Tree

Christmas Peace Dove Template

Christmas Wreath Tree Decoration

Christmas Plastic Cup Craft

Christmas Plastic Cup Reindeer

Santa’s North Pole

Colourful Christmas Craft Ideas

Christmas Mobile Craft

Christmas Story Games

Christmas Bethlehem Star

Christmas Bells — Jingle All The Way

Christmas Angel Craft

Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends and Teachers

Handmade Christmas Tree Decorations

Paper Plate Angel

Christmas Hand Print Wreath

Pencil Christmas Tree Decoration

Other Advent Calendar

The Useful Box: Advent Calendar 2011

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  • Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Great idea – love the Phoenix Trading giftwrap and angel as well!!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Fabulous advent calendar! Thanks for sharing, love the one from last year too! Now, which to make….mmmm.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Rodda
    November 10, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Love it! After planning to make one for the last 2 years, I cheated and bought a lovely one from Avon this year. But I am struggling to think of what to put in the boxes. Do I put in something for each child or do they take turns? Help!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      November 10, 2011 at 7:25 am

      You can cut up the PDF story (above) and put that inside the box as well as a wrapped lolly or chocolate. It doesn’t even have to be food, it can be a variety of small favours like a rubber, hair band, ring, rock, Christmas decoration, coin…anything that can fit.

      I make my kids take turns (ie. they get 1 treat every 4 days).

  • Reply
    Rachel Cunliffe
    November 10, 2011 at 7:34 am

    My mum made us an quilt-type Advent Calendar which hangs on the wall with pockets for each day. For the last two years, we’ve bought a small-ish Lego City item, and then evenly divided the pieces (in order of the instructions) into the pockets. Each day, my son would pull out the pieces and slowly make the item.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I love the tradition that the advent calender creates. Thanks for the craft idea we have been looking for a perfect christmas craft for church. I’m personally going to use the advent story this year in our calender. I have been looking for something like that for awhile. Thanks.

    • Reply
      November 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      Wonderful! You’re welcome.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Hi Kelly, thanks for all the tips, i will being using your PDF, much appreciated… just a personal question, feel free to not answer if you would prefer, was just interested to know, if you and your family are Christians and attend a church, or what your beliefs are….

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      November 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Hi Kara

      Of course I don’t mind! Thanks for asking. I am a Christain (and yes I do go to Church). This blog isn’t focused on my Faith but it does impact on absolutely everything I do. What I believe is the foundation for how I live my life.

      What I believe is pretty simple. I’ve outlined it right here: http://beafunmum.com/about/about-me/what-i-believe/

      Feel free to email me any questions and I’d be very happy to answer them.

      • Reply
        November 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

        Thanks for the reply Kelly, so glad to hear, I thought you were, but just wanted to check as you don’t mention it much in your blog, i have found your blog very inspiring though, thanks for ALL the great tips.. may you be greatly blessed as you share your life with us and help others in the process…. xxxx

  • Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Great minds Kelly! I’ve just been working (with help from the kids) on ours this morning. We are wrapping one Christmas book (yes, we have lots of books!) for each day from Dec1 – Dec25, then these will be numbered, labelled with a short Bible reading, questions and an activity to do, then lined up on our sideboard in order. Got the idea from something on Apartment Therapy last year (or maybe 2 years ago). Very excited!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      November 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      Sounds wonderful Julie! When you blog about it, email me the link and I’ll add it to the bottom of this post.

  • Reply
    Veronica @ Mixed Gems
    November 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I’d not thought of having an advent calendar – it wasn’t a tradition when we were growing up – but you’ve inspired me to consider one. Thanks for the template and references.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      November 10, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      You’re welcome! It’s a fun idea, and my kids don’t usually let me forget it. HA!

  • Reply
    April Cummins-Kohl
    November 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    You are definitely a “Fun Mum”, I love your ideas. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Janice - Learning 4 kids
    November 11, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I love love LOVE this idea!! I am definitely going to give this a go! Thank you so much for all the templates. xx

  • Reply
    November 12, 2011 at 6:02 am

    […] Love this idea for an advent calendar. […]

  • Reply
    November 12, 2011 at 7:16 am

    What fun the kids will have with your calendar! We’re looking forward to starting ’30 Days with Mary and Joseph’ – a book by Jo Glen. The hardback book’s two covers open to make a freestanding 19″ tableau. During each day of December, the kids will find the (reusable) sticker for that day and stick it onto the corresponding space on the tableau. In the centre, spiral-bound pages flip over, one for each day, with a reading from the nativity story, a simple meditation and a prayer. We’re also hoping to do some activities from ‘Before and After Christmas’ by Debbie Trafton O’Neal, and some others we find on the internet. We didn’t celebrate advent as I was growing up, and I am so keen to use this season to teach our kids about Jesus’ birth! For when the kids are a bit older, I’ve also got ‘The Story of Christmas’ by Carolyn Croll – a set of tiny books in a beautiful calendar, each telling part of the Christmas story, and ‘Bartholomew’s Passage’ by Arnold Ytreeide – a story that unfolds each day of advent that coincides with the birth of Jesus. Yes, I love, love, love Christmas!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      November 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

      Ooo, loving all these books to watch out for. Thanks Lyndall!

  • Reply
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    November 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Ooh I love this advent calendar! I’m doing an advent calendar on my blog this December, I would live your permission to use this pattern? If yes I would link back to this post. Please let me know 🙂

  • Reply
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