25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar

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Two months ago I made a 25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar at a church activity and finally got to bust it out today as it is now December 1st!

To make the calendar we cut foam board into a tree shape, cut fabric and sprayed it with spray adhesive, stapling it onto the backside of the foam board, and then decorated them however we wanted.  I wrapped it with some thick gold string and then cut out lots of different shapes and objects from old Christmas cards (another use of old Christmas cards!).  I then bought some contact paper from Michael’s so that this project will last more than one season since I have little kids.

We then had some brass pins/tacks and gold string we used to attach the “ornaments” to the tree.  I taped the string onto the back of the Christmas card cut-outs, and used tweezers (to hold the small pins) and a hammer to put them in place.  Then I hung up the ornaments, and viola, here’s my finished advent tree!Count down the 25 Days of Christmas with this Advent Calendar Tree craft! Includes daily scriptures to read and things to do.

I decided not to mark them with numbers either on the front or back, but just have a list (saved on my computer) of what goes along with each day of the month.  There are a few reasons for this, but mostly so I have more flexibility and my kids can pick whichever ornament they want.

Since I completed the tree, I’ve been scouring the internet for great ideas to go along with each of the 25 days on my advent tree.  I’ve never done an advent calendar, like, ever, so I am starting at square one.  I know some people do a special treat each day, a piece of candy or something.  But, I really wanted mine to be both religiously educational and filled with fun Christmas activities and memories!

For my 25 Days lists, I really liked these websites:

25 Days of Christmas Scripture Chain via thethingsilovemost.blogspot.com We’ll be using those scriptures all 25 days plus other activities.

25 Days of Advent Activities via All Things Simple – a good start, but several can only happen in Utah.

25 Way to Celebrate Christmas Advent Calendar via Dave Ramsey. A pretty good list!

50 Things to do at Christmas {25 Days of Christmas} via Defrump Me.  I love that there are 50 ideas.  More to choose from to fit you and your family’s needs.

Discover Christmas downloadable book via Discover the Scriptures.  This book looks amazing and only costs $7.99.  It’s full of activities, stories, memory verses, recipes, crafts, hands-on-projects, service ideas, and home-made gifts to help you explain the various traditions of Christmas, like “Why is the poinsetta popular at Christmas?” all from a very religious and spiritual viewpoint.  They offer a free sample of a few of the “25 days” in the book, found HERE.  I might have to buy this soon!

Visitindy.com – So we can hit up fun and cheap/free activities around our home town!  On my “cheat sheet” for the advent calendar I’ve listed several options of things for us to do around town, circumstances allowing, that we could do that day as well!

So, for today, Day #1, December 1, we read Isaiah 7:14 and then went to Wal-mart to have our girls get a free picture taken with Santa!  Before we left we explained who Santa was, how he’s similar to Jesus Christ (which there’s a great little lesson on that found at THIS site), and what we were going to do at Wal-mart.  They were very excited until they actually met Santa at Wal-mart….  We managed to get a picture, and then the girls got a mini candy cane.

For the rest of the 24 days, we have the following, tentatively, planned:

Day #2 Sunday, December 2 –
Read Matthew 1:19-20
Listen to Holiday music all day and have a dance party!
Day #3 Monday, December 3 –
Read: Alma 7:10
Learn about snowflakes and why they are special and why God made each one unique
Make snowflakes (awesome cutting guide HERE)
Day #4 Tuesday, December 4 –
Mail out our Christmas cards
Go to the Children’s Museum’s Jolly Days (playgroup)
Day #5 Wednesday, December 5 –
Stuff a stocking full of fun items and deliver it to someone in need (Relief Society Activity)
Day #6 Thursday, December 6-
Day #7 Friday, December 7 –
Go to the Christmas Party at Church
Day #8 Saturday, December 8 –
Phillips Music Guild at Artsgarden, FREE, 11am-12pm
Indianapolis Municipal Band at Artsgarden, FREE 12:30-1:30pm
City Sidewalks on Georgia Street 12-8pm, FREE, ice skating start at 4pm
Day #9 Sunday, December 9 –
City Sidewalks on Georgia Street 12-8pm, FREE, ice skating start at 4pm. Live Nativity.
Day #10 Monday, December 10 –
Day #11 Tuesday, December 11 –
Go to a “Favorite Things” Party (book club)
Have a winter-filled playgroup!
Day #12 Wednesday, December 12 –
Buy and read a new book about Christmas
Day #13 Thursday, December 13 –
Make or buy a new ornament for our Christmas tree
Day #14 Friday, December 14 –
Staple paper together and illustrate a Christmas book!
Day #15 Saturday, December 15 –
Tumble the Train Saves the Day! at Indiana State Museum,$2/adult; $1/child (3+); 10:30-11am; 1-1:30pm
Indy Winds Flute Choir at Artsgarden, FREE 1:00pm-2:15pm
The Saxy Santas, Saxaphone group at Artsgarden, FREE 2:30-3:30pm
Day #16 Sunday, December 16 –
Make Holiday Puppy Chow Mix (recipe found HERE) and watch a holiday movie!
Day #17 Monday, December 17 –

Make and bake Christmas sugar cookies for someone!

Day #18 Tuesday, December 18 – 
Visit Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) and grounds. FREE
Indiana State Theater Department 7-8pm ArtsgardenPerformance
Day #19 Wednesday, December 19 –
Drive around and see the Christmas lights and lawn decorations
Day #20 Thursday, December 20 - 
Make and decorate a gingerbread house (or a graham cracker house like THIS)
Day #21 Friday, December 21 –
Read Luke 2:40
Play Christmas “Minute-to-win-it” Games with Josh’s family
Day #22 Saturday, December 22 –
Tumble the Train Saves the Day! at Indiana State Museum,$2/adult; $1/child; 10:30-11am; 1-1:30pm Artsgarden Chamber Ensemble 12-1pm FREE, tour downtown
Day #23 Sunday, December 23 –
Read First Presidency message – Gifts of the Savior
Bake and decorate a birthday cake for Jesus
Day #24 Monday, December 24 –
Read the Christmas story from the Bible and act it out
Day #25 Tuesday, December 25 –
Open presents!
Merry Christmas!
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