Homemade Christmas Advent Calendar

Advent calendars can be such a fun part of December! I remember loving the anticipation of opening little "somethings" that were tied on rings to a beautiful embroidered Christmas tree that my mom made when I was younger.

This year, I felt inspired to create an advent calendar with small inexpensive gifts for my kids to look forward to opening together (some years I'm not as inspired to do this kind of thing, but this year I was...you know how it goes!)    I used a photo collage frame my daughters already had in their room. It had three rows of jute rope that were normally used to hang pictures which were perfect for hanging plain white lunch bags with mini holiday clothespins (found at Michael's craft store). These kind of bags could also be easily strung from a pretty ribbon stretched across a wall. Here are great free printable numbers that I used to mark the bags.

Even though my kids are teens, they have really enjoyed opening their little daily surprises.They wait to open the bags until they are all together at some point in the day and that can be tricky sometimes with their schedules.  Surprisingly, my son (who is 18 years old today!) just told me how much he has loved the tradition of our advent calendar which totally made me melt because this will probably be the last year I will be making an advent calendar for him...our kids grow up so quickly, we've got to savor the time we have together when we can!

You could even start a 12 day advent calendar today (if you are feeling inspired :)

A few ideas for what to put inside~

  1. A Christmas movie your family can enjoy together 
  2. Candy canes
  3. Minty M&M's
  4. Silly Puddy (my teenage kids still get a kick out of it!)
  5. Holiday window decals
  6. Crafting kits
  7. Notes suggesting an activity, such as "Bake cookies with mom and bring some to our neighbors",  "Put on pj's, fill a go-cup with hot chocolate and drive around looking at xmas lights tonight", "Give a gift card for Starbucks to a homeless person"
  8. Gum 
  9. Pencils
  10. Socks
  11. Treats for their lunch like caramel popcorn or  Pocky Sticks
  12. Toothbrushes :)

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