Create your own advent calendar this year

When I was a kid, I looked forward to being able to countdown to Christmas music using an advent calendar. Each day of December, I would take out a holiday-themed item, like a reindeer or silver bells, and place it on the Velcro Christmas tree calendar. If you don’t already have an advent calendar, you can make your own, and even put a unique spin on how you countdown to the big holiday.

Holiday card calendar
This particular calendar is one that the adults might like. Using adhesive tabs or tape, adhere colorful envelopes in rows on a wall in your home. Number the envelopes with a metallic gold or silver Sharpie, then fill the them with various holiday cards. On each day of December, take the blank card out of the envelope and write a quick note to a special person in your life, whether it’s someone you lost touch with or someone who has made a big impact on you.

Magnetic calendar
Have an extra cookie sheet that you don’t need? Then transform it into a magnetic advent calendar for the season. You can leave the cookie sheet as is, or cover it with a festive hue of acrylic paint. Then on a piece of card stock that fits the width and length of your cookie sheet, draw a grid to represent the 25 days of Christmas. Adhere the paper to the cookie sheet using Mod Podge and let dry. For the day of the month pieces, you can use anything you have around the house, like buttons, game pieces, small cookie cutters, etc. Just stick some magnetic tape to the back of the pieces so they easily adhere to the cookie sheet.

Punch board calendar
This is a simple calendar to make that the kiddos will love. You’ll need to gather the following materials: white poster board, scissors, tissue paper, a circle cutter, tape and 25 paper bags. Cut out 25 even-sized circles from the poster board, labeling the bottom of each circle with the appropriate date. Then cut out 25 pieces of tissue paper that are sized to fit over the hole. Attach the pieces of the tissue paper to the back of the poster board over the holes with tape. Next, trim down the paper bags and tape them down over the holes (you may have to make slits in the edges of the bag so it fits over the holes). Then fill the bags with treats like holiday candy or small toys. On each day of the month, the kids will punch through the tissue paper to find their treat.

Paper stockings
Using decorative card stock of your choice, cut out 25 mini stockings and write down a number of the month on each. Your kids can help decorate the stockings with glitter, buttons, ribbon or rickrack. Then punch a hole in the top of the paper stocking and loop silver string through the hole and tie the string in a bow. On December 1, you hang the stocking with the No. 1 written on it somewhere on the Christmas tree. By December 25, your tree will be filled with homemade ornaments.