Our advent calendars – including a free printable for you

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As I sat down late last night to design some new PDF for the advent season, I decided that I want to share it with you.

I have not yet decided, how our advent calendar will look like this year. However I wanted it to be something extra special and sparkling. So I designed some nice numbers for a DIY advent calendar – of any kind.

But first, let me tell you, which kind of advent calendars my family uses – because we are HUGE fans of this kind of preparation for the holiday season.


Last year we had a round Waldorf inspired advent spiral, which was great. I will post some pictures, as soon as I find them. You can also have a look at some advent spirals on Pinterest. That is where I got the inspiration for that:

Advent calendar ideas diy

We also have the same cute felt calendar hanging across our living room every year. The kids love the handsome design and I like that it is not too big and also easy to fill. Inside they will find a part of a nativity story every day. I printed it out 4 years ago and since then we read it together every year. It has become a really nice tradition for us. We cuddle together and read calmly. Most of the times I have to read it even more than once, because my boys love to listen to some nice stories.

Along with the story there comes a little shiny box in which I store all the paper figures for our nativity scene. Every day my son gets to pick one figure and puts it in his wooden house to decorate his own nativity scene. This year my second son will be old enough to participate in that. So I am really exited to see how that turns out.

If you are interested in including the Christmas story in your advent calendar, I found a nice idea for you here.

Those printables are not for free, but I find them to be very cute. Or you just take it as an inspiration and DIY a Christmas story advent calendar by yourself.

As my children love reading, I also bought them an advent calendar book. Inside there are stories perfect for the advent season and especially for children, some are adventurous and some funny. We have a look at the book every day, but not at a set time of the day. The boys will pick it up and come to me as soon as they like to hear the new story of the day.

Then we also have a huge book-alike calendar, that consists of many small books. Those come with more pictures and are quick to read. So that is more suitable for my toddler.

As you might have noticed, our calendars only include reading or activities. The reason for this is that I want to establish traditions and want them to have nice memories of their childhood, rather than just have something sweet to eat or more toys that just fill space.

However, this year I decided to put some small Lego parts in their calendar as well – but only on some days. The reason for this is that my boys really enjoy playing Lego and they wished for some small parts, for example a horse, a tennis rack or a skateboard. But I didn’t want to give it to them during the year, so I collected their wishes, made one big order a while ago and will now divide the parts into their felt calendar. I will make sure, however, that they understand, that those Lego parts in their calendar are only an exception and I hope, that they will not get used to it in the future. We will see 🙂


Some years ago I made some really nice advent calendars for my husband as well. Once I made some paper packages all by myself and put little presents inside, such as small logical puzzles or little stories. I think, my newly designed numbers would fit perfectly on them and I should definitely search for those boxes.

I also once made an advent calendar inside a jar for him, where he got to read one small love letter every day and keep it in that jar. He still has it, so I assume he liked it a lot.
Then, another idea I had established a while ago, was a picture advent calendar. I bought a small photo album and placed 24 photos inside. Above every photo I placed a sheet of paper with the regarding number of the day, when they were allowed to have a look at the photo. Some pictures were self-explanatory and some were a little bit older and then we talked about on which occasion someone took that picture of them or us. I did this for my husband as well as for my sisters and my mother. They all liked the personal touch and the memories, that sparked when opening their calendar every day. If you would like to that for your family, my numbers would be a perfect fit for this calendar as well.
What I also did some years ago, was a self designed voucher calendar for my husband. Thous vouchers included all kinds of things, for example a candle light dinner at home, a gentle foot massage or a movie theme evening, where he get to choose the movie. It was no expensive stuff, just some really nice activities that proved how much I care of him.


In the end I think that is what the advent and Christmas season is all about: to show other people that you took your time to think of something nice and personal. For me, the best feeling is to know that I made the persons I like most smile and feel warm inside. 
In order to teach my children the joy of giving, I decided on a kind of backward advent calendar a few days ago. I have put aside a nice box and we will put something to eat inside everyday. On Christmas Eve we will look for a homeless person and hand it over to them. Naturally we can only place food inside that does not require cooling and lasts long, but I think we will find enough options. I have already talked about that with my boys and they were really exited. It makes me so happy to see their excitement when it comes to giving.
Speaking of giving: as I mentioned in the beginning, I am happy to give away my freshly designed number printable for your own personal advent calendar project. Please simply click on the following link:
Get your freebie here
Irene 2

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