I think it’s pretty well known around here that I love a good Christmas countdown. I spend 365 days a year casually thinking about Christmas, so once we get close, I get excited. Our family is big on advent calendars – we’ve done DIY advent calendars, we buy them for the kids, we buy them for the adults…it’s a whole thing. So today, I’m sharing a ton of really fun advent calendar ideas to help you count down to Christmas! I promise, if it’s a tradition you haven’t started yet, you’ll love every second!
What is an Advent Calendar?
Let’s start here. Advent officially begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs until Christmas Eve. In a lot of Christian denominations, it’s a very important time of celebration and preparation for Christmas. I didn’t grow up in a church that celebrated advent specifically, and the term “advent calendar” has really come to mean any sort of calendar that counts down the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Generally, there’s some sort of treat involved (like chocolates, a small toy, or a little activity) each day, and you open a door or a box or something to access the treat.
You can find advent calendars in every category. There are ornament advent calendars, toys, wine, cheese, chocolates, etc. The sky is the limit!
Advent calendars are a really fun way to lean into the anticipation of the season and our family loves them. So, let’s get into the ideas!
Advent Calendar Ideas: How to Count Down to Christmas
There are almost limitless advent calendar ideas out there, but here are a few of my favorites. I’m covering everything from DIY advent calendars to activity advent calendars to ones you can grab at the store.
Activity Advent Calendar
Let’s kick things off with my very favorite idea – the activity advent calendar! This is something we’ve done every single year for as long as Corey and I have been married. Yes, even before kids!
The idea is, every day starting on December 1st we do a small activity to celebrate the season. It might be watching a Christmas movie, baking cookies, writing a letter to Santa, or drinking hot chocolate. It generally includes stuff that we already would be doing (for example, decorating gingerbread houses), but putting it on a piece of paper and making it official makes it feel special!
I’ve written several posts on our activity advent calendar over the years, so if you want ideas for Christmas activities to get you started, I’ll link a few posts for you! You can also read about how I plan ahead for what I’ll be putting in the envelopes each week to make it as easy as possible.
DIY Advent Calendar Ideas
If you don’t want to commit to a daily activity but love the idea of putting together your own advent calendar, it’s easy to make your own!
Start by deciding a theme for your advent calendar. Here are a few ideas of what you can do or gift each day:
- A small craft to do together
- Small gifts (stamps, stickers, etc)
- Candy canes or chocolates
If you prefer not to have it be physical items or little gifts, you can also try something like…
- Wrapping Christmas books you already have to read one each day
- An acts of kindness advent calendar
- Cutting out a paper snowflake each day
- A tree where you hang a Christmas ornament from your collection each day
The options are endless! To get you inspired, here are a few cute examples I found:
Felt Stocking Advent Calendar
This adorable calendar from A Beautiful Mess is one you’ll keep forever. You can fill it with a combo of treats and activity ideas! CLICK HERE for the tutorial.
Drawer Advent Calendar
These little calendars from Kaleidoscope Living are made with a Cricut and they’re so easy to personalize for each kid! CLICK HERE for the tutorial.
Punch-Out Advent Calendar
Your kids will have the best time punching out these little containers every day with this idea from It’s Always Autumn! CLICK HERE for the tutorial.
Muffin Tin Advent Calendar
This idea from Down Redbud Drive uses stuff you probably already have at home! CLICK HERE for the tutorial.
DIY LEGO Advent Calendar
This DIY LEGO Advent Calendar from Frugal Fun 4 Boys is adorable! My kids would be in heaven. CLICK HERE for the tutorial.
Christmas Bulb Calendar
This super simple advent calendar can be made with paper and filled with just about anything! CLICK HERE for the tutorial.
Pre-Made Christmas Advent Calendars
Listen, the holiday season is busy. The idea of making your own DIY advent calendar might feel like a bit much. Thankfully, there are endless advent calendars out there that you can buy. We always grab the boys a LEGO Advent Calendar, and this year I got myself a puzzle advent calendar!
I grabbed a bunch of cute options for you to get you started.
- Pokemon Funko Pop Calendar
- Mochi Squishy Advent Calendar
- Melissa & Doug Tree Calendar
- Disney Funko Pop Calendar
- Fidget Advent Calendar
- Sock Advent Calendar
- Mini Brands Advent Calendar
- Harry Potter Pop Up Advent Calendar
- Disney Doorables Advent Calendar
- National Geographic Advent Calendar
- Bluey Advent Calendar
- Play-Doh Advent Calendar
Hopefully, this leaves you feeling inspired to try an advent calendar for your family this year! I know I can’t wait to get started on ours. Less than two weeks!