25 Days of Christmas {with FREE printable advent calendar!!}

25 Days of Christmas: How to Plan a Magical Advent Season {with FREE printable Advent Calendar!} ~ Our Cozy Den

Advent is a ✨magical✨ time in our house. We plan our whole homeschool year around this season, so that we can really enjoy the majesty of God’s love and grace. Without a doubt, my kids’ favorite part of this season is our daily advent activities. We have this fun calendar that I made several years back. It has 25 drawers, one for each day. It also has a tree on top with real lights on it. They know that when the lights come on, it’s time for that day’s advent surprise (which is written on a piece of paper and tucked in the drawer)!

25 Days of Christmas: How to Plan a Magical Advent Season {with FREE printable Advent Calendar!} ~ Our Cozy Den

The activities that we do are a mixture of several different kinds of things: crafts, outings, giving back, & traditions. Here is how you can incorporate these things to create an Advent calendar of your own!

1. Print off your Advent calendar.

I always have a master list of my own, like this one. I write the activities in pencil, in case I need to swap some days around! See below for MY list of activities & ideas!

{Click here to download my FREE printable Advent calendar!}

2. Do some research.

For many of the activities below, no research is needed. But for things in your local area, you’ll need to browse around the internet a while to find some fun places to go! (Read this post to find out how to find activities in your area!)

3. Put your activities into something fun for the kids!

It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be as simple as cards pinned on a string, a paper chain, a 24-ct muffin pan with paper covering the holes, etc. There are an infinite number of ways to do this, so you can make it as crafty (or not) as your ability/time allows!

{Click here to browse pinterest for ideas!}


How to Fill It:

I try to mix it up so we are doing a little of everything, and it’s all spread out pretty evenly. Take a look at some of the categories below, and start filling out the calendar that you printed in step 1.

  • put up the tree & decorate the house (this is always day 1 for us)
  • build & decorate gingerbread houses
  • get new ornaments and add them to the tree
  • tell the Nativity Story (we get out our Little People Nativity Set and reenact it!)
  • make & decorate Christmas cookies
  • Christmas caroling
  • get a new Christmas movie
  • Christmas tree pancakes (with sprinkles!)
  • Christmas Eve scavenger hunt — when we get home from church on Christmas Eve, the kids have a set of clues to follow that leads them to a family gift. It’s always a game, movie, or toy that we will all share. That’s the only gift that gets opened on Christmas Eve.
Giving Back
  • take toys to the Toys for Tots drive
  • fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
  • take Christmas cookies to the neighbors
  • take goodies to local fire stations/police stations
  • Random Acts of Kindness day — this one is my favorite day of Advent. I set aside a few hundred dollars, and we go out blessing people: buying lunch for people at a restaurant, paying for carts full of groceries, handing out santa hats to kids at the mall, leaving coins by riding machines, taping dollars to snack machines, etc.
Crafts & Games

I get most of these ideas from Pinterest! Check out my Christmas board here! Some of the ones we have done in the past are:

  • Mistletoes
  • Handprint Santas
  • Rudolph paper bag puppets
  • Jingle Bell bracelets
  • Paper plate wreaths
  • Christmas BINGO
  • Gingerbread dice game
  • Salt dough ornaments
  • Pipe cleaner candy canes
  • Cotton ball snowmen
  • And about a dozen different Christmas tree crafts

This is where you need to do some research and find some local stuff in your area! If you are local to me {Findlay, Ohio}, check out the December issue of Findlay Family Magazine for a Holiday Hullabaloo article, outlining ALL the great stuff in town this month! {Pssst! I wrote it!}

These are some outings we have gone on in years past:

  • homeschool group Christmas party
  • Byron’s work Christmas party
  • Live nativity at a church
  • Lights Before Christmas at the zoo
  • craft & storytime at the Christian book store
  • Christmas events at the library
  • ride the North Pole Express train
  • Christmas party at the Children’s Museum
  • drive around and look at lights
  • Christmas party at the art museum
  • light show on the riverwalk
  • Christmas festivals
  • Christmas markets
  • Christmas activities with the local Parks Department
Add your own!

Chances are, your family already has some traditions that you do every year. Put those in the calendar so it’s a surprise when the time comes to do it!

I’d love to hear what your family traditions are!


I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday season!

25 Days of Christmas: How to Plan a Magical Advent Season {with FREE printable Advent Calendar!} ~ Our Cozy Den
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