We are delighted to share a set of free printable Advent calendar cards with you! A handy hack for those who would like to * keep Xmas on budget * get a head start on the festive season * be immersed in Xmas cheer and fun.
The Benefits Of A Family Advent Calendar
Our family Advent Calendar is one of my favourite parts of the lead-up to Christmas. As well as providing a visual count-down, it draws together all of the important events and activities in December and all of the traditions that we have established in our family. It helps add to the magic of the season and is just as loved by our children as Christmas Day itself.
I love the faces of anticipation as my girls rush to see which card is in the next envelope and their excitement as they watch the line of days left until Christmas slowly diminish. Activities that purposely allow for simple days leading up to the 25th, which help build meaning into the season and which focus on the ‘giving’ and ‘family’ aspects of Christmas are just what is needed for us when ‘end of year tiredness’ begins to creep in.
How It Works
Our display is simply a long length of baker’s twine strung up on 3M hooks, making it easily removable from walls without leaving marks or taking off paint. Pegged along it are 24 clearly numbered envelopes, each containing a card stating the day’s task or surprise. These include things like putting up the Christmas tree, baking and decorating gingerbread men, making Christmas cards and singing Christmas carols. Outings such as visiting Father Christmas, going to see the Christmas lights and kindergarten Christmas concerts are also included.
Using a list, I keep track of which card I allocate to each day. I firstly slot in cards for pre-planned ‘non-negotiable’ events like Christmas parties and community Carols By Candleight. Day one for us is always ‘put up the Christmas tree’ and Christmas Eve is always ‘open one present under the tree’. I then randomly slot in the remaining cards. Every day or so, I make sure to check which activities I have planned for the week ahead and if I need to, I will swap them. If we have a busy day coming up, I’ll make sure I’ve allowed for something simple like ‘colour in a Christmas picture’. I also have cards that read ‘check the front door mat’ and ‘check under your pillow’ and I use these for days when I have a little treat for my girls (such as Christmas stickers, a new ornament for our tree or a small chocolate). On quieter days with less on our to-do list, I plan for activities like Christmas crafts and time spent in the kitchen, when making a bit of a mess is not an issue and when we have more time on our hands.
Making Your Own (with Baby Hints & Tips printable Advent calendar cards)
For anyone wanting to start a similar family tradition themselves, here at Baby Hints & Tips we have created a set of free printable Advent calendar cards for you to use in your own home. We have also included some blank ones for you to add your own Christmas traditions. The example above uses number graphics found on Pinterest (try ‘517 Creations’ or ‘Lansdowne Life’ for similar ones) but stickers or handwritten labels would also be fine. For a calendar like the one described, you can buy small envelopes at an office supplies store or try Etsy seller Green Ridge Designs (which is where these red pockets were purchased). Ikea also sell ready-made Advent calendar bags (into which you could place your cards) and fabric versions would also work.
I used to dread the busy and chaotic lead up to Christmas Day and the overwhelm that seemed to go hand in hand with it when little ones were concerned. Since introducing our Advent calendar back when our girls were very young, this period of the Christmas season is now one I can honestly say I cherish.