advent calendars

this is one of my absolute favorite christmas traditions. its one of the few that really draw you back to the meaning of the season - as a friend recently wrote:

christmas is jesus

thats all there is to it.
its way too easy to get wrapped up in our to-do lists {guilty as charged} that this time of year can quickly turn into a stressful, commercialized season instead of the joyous reflection on our savior's birth that is it intended to be.  and it doesnt matter how many times i tell him, about 50% of the time bennett answers with "santa claus" when i ask him who was born on christmas day/whose birthday we are celebrating at christmas.  {sometimes he even says "bennett!!" - poor child, part of the confusion of having your birthday 4 days after christmas, i guess}.

advent calendars can be both religious and secular in theme  - but no matter the "theme," the purpose is to count down the days during advent in anticipation of the birth of Christ, on christmas day.  i dont remember a christmas growing up that we did not have our advent calendar.  my aunt made it for us, and it was a bit more secular in theme {christmas tree with little dolls and such}

on the days that we didnt have anything in the pocket to put on the tree, we got an advent gift...something really small in nature - like earrings or a pad of paper or something to that effect {yes, we LOVED those days...hehe}.

i really want to start this tradition with our family but, as you would guess, i am finding it hard to bite the bullet and purchase one.  *sigh*  maybe next year ill have time to make one? {yeah right}

here are some i have found that i love...some for the look, some for the meaning, and many for both:

this one reminds me of a manger, which i imagine was the intention :) :
etsy seller GlimTresors

i have seen many in this style recently, and of course i love the handmade look and feel:
etsy seller CaraMagic

this one by martha stewart is as simple as pinning baby socks to a line:
martha stewart

i adore the simplicity and meaning behind paula's family advent tree:
paula of twoellie via mrsfrench

this one simply consists of decorated toilet paper rolls:
via maya*made

this looks more along the lines of something i would/could do myself:
via linaloo

very similar to the one we had growing up:
via inchmark

definitely think this one is the best of both worlds: handmade look, correct meaning, fun activity {for kids}:
$19.95 at st jude shop, inc

and now to honor my love of wooden "toys":
$59.95 at vermont christmas company

if only i had the time/abilities/desire to KNIT this much:
which is why you can purchase it at garnethill

this definitely has inspired me to get crackin on our very own so that when advent rolls around next year, we will be READY! {and maybe it will help reinforce the fact that christmas is JESUS, not santa claus...maybe}



  1. This: http://www.amazon.com/Advent-Storybook-Antonie-Schneider/dp/0735819637/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292453445&sr=8-1
    Will be part of our daily routine during Advent season...so hard to convince Jack that our advent calendar is counting down to the birth of Jesus not the arrival of Santa.

  2. hallmark has the CUTEST magnet advent calendar that you can put on the fridge. I saw it at my friend's house and I'm not sure how much it costs, but little ones would love it b/c you can put it down low on the fridge and it looks like a little clipboard with different magnets to put on the numbers. Not sure if they have it online, but I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for an after Christmas sale. I have one from Target (like the ones you posted with the little boxes) and I have been really unhappy with it. The boxes are to small to put much in there if you have more than 1 child and it broke within a week of buying it.

  3. i have been looking at some ideas for these lately.... here are some i saw on a blog recently... all so creative & fun!






  4. well, as i scrolled down, i thought, ooo, i like this one, and...oh, i like THIS one, and, but this one is perfect. Bottom line: there are alot of great ideas out there! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Oh do I miss my advent calendar! Remember when the elves would visit me??? But I guess that takes it back to Santa Claus and not jesus since the elves were involved....I wonder if I'll find time (or the funds for that matter) to do that for my children.

  6. you need to make them next year and sell them in your spare time! SOLD for the Wilson household:-)


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