Katie's DIY Advent Calendar

'Tis the season to start pulling out advent calendars!

In my case, that means it’s time to start packing a million manila treat bags with scriptures, prayers, and LOVE, then clipping them to a piece of felt with tiny laundry clips… alas. I wouldn’t have it any other way. [And if you want your mantle to look this diggity-dank, well... you shouldn’t either]


I here people say, “Pish-Posh* advent and Christmas are the same. Lay off.” Uh…Nope!

Advent is the 24 days before Christmas.

Advent is an ancient and established time of intentional slowing that flies directly in the face of the mass frenetics and consumerism that surround Christmas and Hanukkah. I LOVE it for me, and I invest in it for my children. *My friends say “pish-posh” because I live in a Bridget Jones movie during December.

There are a LOT of very cool Advent traditions that usher in this spirit of thoughtful intention, and we will get into those over the next few weeks, but I didn’t want to delay getting started with the calendar, which traditionally begins the first day of December. The calendar is a fun countdown that traditionally has a little piece of scripture and a piece of chocolate for each day.

Below, I provide links for the materials, and some printables/ideas for the things with which I do my stuffin’. However, at the heart of this calendar is a simple vessel for a Jesse Tree ornament, a piece of scripture, and a fun activity slip. It might be time to take a trip to the hobby store (which is what I call Amazon after I have had a glass of vino.)


Oh – and HUGE thanks to the ladies at @allgoodthingscollective for the beautiful typographical meditations. You guys need to beg them to print you some of these cards before its too late – or maybe for next year. Aren’t they lovely?


Raw Materials: 

(I got everything here for 50% off at a ridiculous store called Hobby Lobby)



In her post, Rima has an awesome list of Christo-centric, mostly New Testament scriptures that you can use. I use the Jesse Tree scriptures (download bobo scanned image here). It would not be hard AT ALL for a Jewish family to accommodate the Jesse Tree to build toward the Maccabees. These passages are more of a slow meandering through the Torah (first five books of the bible), the Prophets (those other ones), and the Psalms. They provide a picture of the whole arc of Christ, starting with the “Fall of man” and drifting through the big stories, prophesies, and sweet promises of the Old Testament. I will say more about the Jesse Tree later but as a bonus, each scripture has a cute corresponding ornament that you can either make or buy (try Etsy for a whole set.) If any of you beautiful Jeweses adapt this activity for your family, let me know.

If you are an AFA newsie, be on the look out for our Advent and Christmas guide to the season. Not on our email list? Sign up now and join us for a holiday season filled with engaging activities and a guides celebrating a Christ-centered Christmas!

- Katie (black).png