Advent Calendar and focusing on the meaning of Christmas

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I love the idea of counting down for Christmas and over the years have created various Advent Calendars for my kids. I think the first year was the most elaborate with multiple activities, outings and gifts. Needless to say by the time Christmas Day arrived I was exhausted! The following year knew I had to scale back on the activities. In addition, I wanted a way to bring Christ back into our celebration of Christmas. He is after all the reason for the season! It took a few years for inspiration to hit but it finally came in the form of a book.

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Last year our Advent Calendar was inspired by the book “The Christmas Story.” I really like this book for kids because it draws directly from the bible and is wonderfully illustrated. A bonus surprise is that it also includes questions to ask, prayers and activities to do. I happily added the stories and their activities to our Advent Calendar.

The calendar itself has changed over the years as well. One year I made paper stockings and put the events on the back. Another year I got lazy and just folded papers and taped them on the wall! Knowing I was creating too much work for myself I finally sat down and designed one that could be recycled each year.

Here is this years calendar!

embe advent calendar freeInspired by the quote “The Magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence” and a nativity scene vector image from freepik.com I designed an editable digital PDF. I love it as an editable PDF because I am able to change out activities to accommodate for special events (like family holiday parties and snow tubing!) and weekends before printing each year.

We don’t have a good color printer at home so I send them to the office supply store for printing. It prints perfectly on 11×17 paper. Then to cover the activities, I cut squares large enough to fit the text and tape them down with washi tape. My kids are great about not peeking and I snap a pic on my phone before covering it up so I know what’s coming! (One year I forgot and was scrambling to get activities ready when the kids revealed the activity! Oops!)

As a thank you for reading, you can download this FREE editable Advent Calendar below!

Our calendar is all covered up but here are some activities I have added over the years:

  • Write letters to Santa.
  • Ice skating
  • Holiday party with friends
  • Buy presents
  • Make cookies
  • Wrap presents
  • Volunteer
  • Go to various holiday activities around our city.
  • Read Bible Story “Name of story” (I do one day for each story)
  • Bible story “Name of story” activity (usually the following day)

advent calendar free download

Click the image to download the FREE PDF.

How to use the file:

  1. Download and save the file to your computer.
  2. Edit the text. Replace “Enter text here” with your activity. (There are 25 squares. I typically start on December 1.)
  3. Print onto 11×17 inch paper. It will print on 8.5×11 inch paper as well, but may have white space on the sides.
  4. Cut 1.5 inch squares from colorful paper.
  5. Tape the squares to the calendar using washi tape.
  6. Hang and enjoy the Christmas season!

I’m always looking for new ideas to add to our Advent calendar, leave a comment with your family traditions!

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