The Blog by Ellen Wags

a lifestyle blog for real mamas. featuring family-friendly home decor, casual mama style, and stuff to keep your kids entertained. 

Advent Calendar Ideas

Advent Calendar Gathre Holiday Blog

Do you use an advent calendar each year to countdown to Christmas? The girls are old enough now to understand and get excited about the holiday season, so we are doing our first advent calendar this year! Today I’m sharing my ideas and plans for our advent calendar this December. 

Wait, What is Advent?

Advent is a time to slow down and appreciate the upcoming celebration of the birth of Christ and the real meaning of Christmas. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve (December 24th). Typically advent calendars are 24 days long, from December 1 to December 24. Each day has a pocket, envelope, or door that reveals a picture, gift, or verse inside. We plan on choosing a time each day to sit down and connect to the purpose of the Christmas season and spend a bit more intentional time together.

Homemade or Bought?

I know my strengths, and therefore, I purchased an advent calendar. A talented crafter I am not, so beautifully made things that are ready to go are my jam. I opted for this beautiful vegan leather advent calendar from Gathre (sold out on their website, but it is available from some retailers like the one linked!). I also love this option from Anthropologie or this one from Terrain. If you are interested in DIY-ing your advent calendar, here are some intriguing ideas: Small canvas drawstring bags strung on a wall ladder, Kraft paper envelopes hung on string with clothespins or even this semi-DIY kit from Etsy!

What to Put Inside

We are using these beautiful cards from Coley Kuyper Art to guide us each day of the Advent season. I plan on including small trinkets or treats occasionally throughout the month. Some families like to do a small gift daily, but I know that beyond my management capabilities. Ultimately, your Advent Calendar can be as big or as small as you would like, but I like to make the focus talking about the birth of Jesus and creating excitement about the season. I picked up a few things that fall under the “stocking stuffer” gift realm for the days we are including a special treat.

  1. Maileg mouse
  2. Sidewalk chalk
  3. Hair Clips or Bows
  4. Candylab Car
  5. Small piece of candy


Do you have any traditions during the holiday season? Are you planning on using an Advent Calendar this year? Tell me in the comments! Be sure to check out all my holiday content here

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