How to Create a Meaningful Advent Calendar
We’re sharing how to create a meaningful advent calendar today!
For the past few years, I’ve been making advent calendars for my family members and it’s always so much fun. They’re not anything elaborate or expensive but they’re definitely from the heart.
This is the very first one I made for my niece and nephews 7 years ago from a Candyland game board and they loved it!
The following year, their parents decided the littles should have less candy 🤣 and more experiences. So, we came up with one holiday-inspired activity for each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas.
This advent calendar was created from an old screen door I found while out treasure hunting with my Mom. We used store-bought paper gift tags, stamped them with red ink and number stamps then wrote the activities on the back of each tag.
It was such a great backdrop because you can easily string the ornaments and activity tags along the door using yarn, ribbon, or jute, and tiny clothespins.
Create a Meaningful Advent Calendar Using Picture Frames…
We’ve also used that same idea to create a meaningful advent calendar using picture frames too!
The “Say Yes Advent Calendar,” is a fun one because each tag holds an activity idea that prompts you to “say yes” to something that might push you just out of your comfort zone during the holiday season.
The year my bestie S (who also helps run the website) fell in a bad accident, we created an antique picture frame advent calendar.
It was one of my favorite meaningful advent calendars because we dedicated it to all the people who showed up for us in a big way when we needed it most.
It was such a hard time for us both but all the support we received during the recovery process really helped us rally.
Almost a year from the day of the accident, S was able to reach her goal of walking part of the Appalachian Trail without assistance or devices.
Farmhouse Inspired Advent Calendar and DIY Number Bags…
S definitely changed the game when she created a farmhouse-inspired advent calendar and these cute DIY number bags!
The bags are especially great if you’re creating a meaningful advent calendar for an adult because you can stuff everything from bath bombs to activity ideas to lottery tickets, candy, hair ties – you name it.
In fact, they’re such a big hit, we’ve continued to use them almost every holiday season since!
Last year, we used the numbered bags to create a Treat Yourself Advent Calendar Basket which was one of THE easiest activity ideas we’ve ever created.
So many of us needed an extra bit of TLC after dealing with the pandemic, so we thought it would be fun to find different ways to practice self-care and give ourselves special things to look forward to during the holiday season.
This year, my sisters and I plan to surprise our parents by using these same bags to create a meaningful advent calendar for them!
I don’t want to give too much away because my Mom reads all my posts, but let’s just say they are in for a fun adventure.
They don’t really have a designated spot for an advent calendar so our plan is to slip an activity into each bag and hang them from ribbons on the coat rack in the entry at Bliss Barracks.
As I shared above, creating a meaningful advent calendar doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate at all!
It’s the kind of gift that takes a little bit of creativity and a lot of heart but the effort is totally worth it. Plus, it’s an easy way to make family memories or let someone special know how much you care about them.
Here are a few activity ideas if you want to create a meaningful advent calendar too…
Advent Calendar Activity Ideas:
- Attend a special Advent church service or event
- Create an epic hot cocoa bar at home.
- Enjoy the Christmas tree lighting in your hometown or a city you’ve always wanted to visit.
- Drive around town in your Christmas pjs, listenting to Christmas music and looking at all the neighborhood light displays.
- Visit a historic site and explore how Christmas used to be in places like Williamsburg or St. Augustine.
- Attend a Christmas concert, show, or play
- Make a signature holiday inspired cocktail or mocktail
- Pick out a special ornament for the tree or make your own
- Ride the Santa Train or the Holly JollyTrolley wearing 3-D glasses
- Ice skate at a popular rink
- Take a sleigh ride
- Kiss under the mistletoe
- Take a peppermint bath
- Make Christmas cookies
- Donate to your favorite charity or sweater drive
- Mail holiday cards to loved ones
- Watch a Christmas movie
- Create a Random Acts of Kindness Challenge
- Write a letter to Santa
- Bike around your neighborhood wearing jingle bells attached to your shoes
- Visit a live nativity
- Decorate the Christmas tree
- Go tubing, sledding or skiing
- Host a gift wrapping party
- Attend a carol or sing along
- Make holiday-flavored smores
- Have a Santa pancake breakfast and listen to Christmas music
- Wear something red
- Host an ugly sweater party
- Adopt an Angel from the Angel Tree
- Light an advent candle each night
- Decorate gingerbread houses
- Watch the Christmas parade
- Hang Christmas lights outside
- Go on a family hike
- Create a wreath for the front door
- Make a hearty soup or meal using only seasonal ingredients
- Read the Polar Express
- Host a Christmas karayoke party or game night
- Create a gift basket, dinner basket, cookie basket, kids activity box or beauty box to give to a friend, family, member, teacher or neighbor who would least expect it
Ready-Made Advent Calendar Ideas…
I know the holiday season is always a busy one, so if you don’t have time to create your own advent calendar – don’t sweat it!
To this day, I can still remember running down the hall as a little girl excited to see what kind of chocolate was waiting behind those little paper doors as we counted down to Christmas so I can completely relate to having a store-bought advent calendar.
They’ve definitely come a long way and there are a lot of creative options now too!
Here are a Few Fun Advent Calendar Ideas We Spotted Online at Amazon and Target This Week…
(Amazon and Target affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon and Impact Media Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost for you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
Star Wars Lego * Lindt Chocolates * Bonne Maman * Beauty
DreamBone * Socks * Friends * Greenery Branch
Jewelry * Tea Advent * Jerky Advent Calendar * Holiday Chews & Treats
L’Occitane Signature * Fidget Toys * Nail Polish * Holiday Punch Box
We hope these meaningful advent calendar activity ideas have given you and your family some extra-special ways to make memories together. Let us know what you’re looking forward to most this holiday season!
Other Seasonal Posts to Enjoy:
- Effortless Christmas Home Tour
- Outdoor Christmas Tablescape
- DIY Gingerbread Snowflake Ornaments
- Christmas Bedroom Inspiration
- Effortless Christmas Wreath Ideas
What a sweet and thoughtful advent calendar! Love the screen door too. That’s a great find! ((Hugs!))
Thanks so much Angie, I’m totally in love with this screen door! Sending sweet hugs to you to lady! CoCo
CoCo – Your wonderful advent calendar is so endearing and meaningful! The screen door is vintage at its best and your mementos and messages are heartfelt! You are a tea sure my friend!!!
Also, love your giveaway artwork! Truly a talented artist 🙂
You are right Liz is truly a talented artist! I really appreciate your kind words about the advent calendar, I think it’s going to be a big hit. PS: I think you’re a tea sure too 🙂 Hugs, CoCo
CoCo, I love your Advent Calendar! I am going to hustle and make one to send to Sarah and Caroline! And thank you for your kind and flattering words. I am blushing
I meant every word Liz! Thank you so much for helping me with this giveaway. You’re the best! I think the girls would be really excited to get an Advent Calendar from you. Gifts from home are so much fun!
I hope I win!
Thanks for taking the chance LiLi! Good luck!
Coco, oh my gosh, that is so beautiful and thoughtful. What a wonderful gift that keeps on giving. You are an inspiration!! Hope you’re having a ball, Lisa
You’re so sweet, Lisa, thank you I really appreciate your kind words!
Thanks for the lovely giveaway! The chalkboard would look wonderful with my collection of Santas!
Connie, so excited you entered the giveaway! Good luck!
Oh my goodness, I LOVE everything about this post! Except, of course, reading about S’s terrible accident. WOW! That must have been horrific! As for the advent calendars I love each one, but I think my favorite is the numbered bags! SUPER-CUTE! I need to copy that activity list and hopefully get many of those ideas in! Thank you for sharing!
You are so welcome, Christine! The activity-based advent calendars are great because it’s always fun to have something to look forward to each day. Plus, they don’t have to be elaborate or expensive either. I have no idea how my parents are going to react to theirs but my Dad said, “Everything better be legal, moral, and ethical” 😆 Big hugs, CoCo
This has to be the cutest Advent calendar I have seen.
We never had one growing up.
Thank you so much, Cindy, I really appreciate it! We always had the ones with the little chocolates in them so the activities-based calendars were definitely fun to make. I can’t wait for Pipers to arrive! Hope your week is a special one, CoCo