Hey friend, if you are just jumping in, you might want to read yesterday’s post first, so you know what I’m up to here.  We have committed to keeping Christ at the center of our Christmas so that we can truly “come to” and be celebrating the true meaning of Advent.

Last year Jen Hatmaker wrote a challenging blog post and she talked about doing an Advent Calendar Hanging garland thing-a-ma-jig, but I checked it out on Etsy and it was $37.00 and though I’m not crafty in the least, I figured I could make my own for less than half that! I did. You can too. Here’s how …

Michael’s Craft store:

  • Christmas ribbon/twine (50% 0ff) – 3 3-yd. spools
  • Little wooden clothespins
  • Top folding white envelopes (50% off)
  • Christmas card stock value pack 4.5 x 6.5  about $3.00
  • Christmas stickers (50% off)  $2.75 Cottage Christmas Adhesive Die Cut Borders – Martha Stewart Crafts


I trimmed 24 sheets of the Christmas card stock so they would easily slide into the top fold envelopes. I punched a hole in the top of each card and tied a string on it, so they could easily be pulled out of the envelope. After each day is completed, we fastened the card back onto the long cord. On the front of the envelope, I glued numbers 1-24 and attached a Christmas sticker. (See pdf of numbers, which I got from this blog post. See, she’s really the crafty one! Here are some more cool numbers from another site.)

Then I sat in the airport in Chicago on my way to Little Rock last week and I wrote Bible verses on the back of each card as well as an activity. I’ll give you my verses, but again, these came from someone else and you are free to use other Advent verses as well.

You’ll notice that I added additional verses as I wanted to incorporate the names of Jesus*. Here’s the cool thing … Barbara Rainey released 7 Adorenaments this year. It’s a collect of seven beautiful metal ornaments that feature the Christmas names of Christ. I’ve put an * by the names for this year. I have the inside scoop that 7 more names will be released next year! (and the year after?) This year we will hang an ornament on our tree for the names we have. Next year I plan to buy the next 7 and we’ll make our own for the rest of the names. or use this free template.

Dec. 1 John 1: 1-5 & Rev. 19:13                                  The Word
Dec. 2 Isaiah 9: 2-7                                                      Wonderful Counselor*
Dec. 3 Isaiah 11: 1-10                                                   The Mighty God*
Dec. 4 Jeremiah 33: 14-16                                          The Everlasting Father
Dec. 5 Luke 1: 5-10                                                       The Prince of Peace*
Dec. 6 Luke 1: 11-17 &Rev.22:13                               ALPHA and OMEGA
Dec. 7 Luke 1: 18-25 & Co. 1:15                                 The Firstborn of Every Creature
Dec. 8 Luke 1: 26-38 &2 Cor. 9:15                           Unspeakable Gift
Dec. 9 Mathew 1:18-21 & John 1:29                        Lamb of God
Dec. 10 Matthew 1: 22-26 & IS. 7:14                       Emmanuel*
Dec. 11 Luke 1: 39-45 & John 10:11                         Good Shepherd
Dec. 12 Luke 1: 46-56                                                 Dayspring
Dec. 13 Luke 2: 1-5 & Num. 24:17 & Rev. 22:16    Star  / Bright and Morning Star
Dec. 14 Luke 2: 6-7 & Mark 8:29                             Christ the Lord* / Anointed One / Messiah
Dec. 15 Luke 2: 8-12 & Mark 1:24                            Holy One
Dec. 16 Luke 2: 13-14 & John 8:12                           Light of the World
Dec. 17 Luke 2: 15-18 & Matthew 12:18                   Servant
Dec. 18 Luke 2: 19-20 & Zechariah 9:9                    King
Dec. 19 Micah 5: 2-5 & Song. Of Sol. 2:1                  Rose of Sharon
Dec. 20 Matthew 2: 1-2 &Song of Sol. 2:1                Lily of the Valley
Dec. 21 Matthew 2: 3-6 & Matthew 11:19                 Friend
Dec. 22 Mathew 2: 7-8 & John 4:42                          Savior*
Dec. 23 Matthew 2: 9-12 & Genesis 49:10                Shiloh
Dec. 24 John 1:14 & Daniel 7:9                                  Ancient of Days

OTHER NAMES  1. God (John 20:28) 2. I Am (John 8:58) 3. Son of David (Matthew 1:1) 4. Branch (Isaiah 11:1) 5. Arm of the Lord ( Isaiah 53:1) 6. Baby (Luke 2:12) 7. Jesus (Matthew 1:21) 8. Brother (Mark 6:3) 9. Son of Man (Matthew 20:28) 10. Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4)

The sky’s the limit when it comes to activities. Here are a few I have found and others I’ve come up with on my own. I’ve made sure to incorporate old favorite traditions as well as a few new ones.

Decorate your tree
Go to the Festival of Trees as a family (This is actually Thanksgiving weekend in Rochester)
Shop for gifts for other children
Unwrap a new book to read or choose an old favorite
Have hot cocoa and cookies with our neighbors
Make a special ornament for each house on the cul-de-sac
Go to the Christmas musical service at church
Go to see a live nativity (We did a walk-through nativity this year that was AWESOME!)
Bring cookies to police stations, fire stations, etc. to thank service people for all they do for others.
Make lefse
Cut out snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling fan in the dining room
Have a family Christmas movie night with treats
Watch a black and white Christmas movie
Go to a busy place (the mall, Hobby Lobby, the post office) and, as a family, stay to open doors for people
Watch Christmas programs from Mom and Dad’s era
Play the pickle game – get new jammies – drive around town looking at Christmas lights and drinking cocoa in our new jammies.
Make cookies/candies to be delivered to the neighbors with their ornament.
Decorate cookies
Read the story about the birth of Jesus
Write a letter to a soldier overseas ~ You can register with adoptaUSsoldier.com
Take photos for Christmas cards
Assemble the family Christmas cards together
Buy a new Christmas album and listen to it
Drive around town and find vending machines on which you can hang a little bag with the exact coinage to buy something plus a note
Wrap Christmas Gifts for extended family
Make a new Christmas Decoration
Color a Christmas picture
Build a snowman
Make hot chocolate and stir with candy canes
Have a picnic in front of the Christmas tree
Call grandma and grandpa and sing a Christmas song
Make a time capsule Christmas tree ornament * (I’ll post on this later)
Assemble and decorate Gingerbread houses or waffle cone trees

Do you do an Advent Calendar? If so, what sorts of things do you put on yours? (I may want to add to, subtract from, change up what we did this year for next year!)