Advent Calendars

Updated Oct 14, 2022

Do you love the countdown to Christmas? So do we. This well-known activity is fun for families and individuals. This popular tradition has evolved over time, with many different versions available.

What is an advent calendar?

An advent calendar is a calendar that counts down the days to Christmas. These calendars sometimes have doors or drawers to open. 

The History of Advent Calendars

German Lutherans first used Advent calendars in the 19th century to count the days of Advent. The practice soon spread to other Christian religions, with the first commercially produced calendar appearing in 1903, the Munich Christmas Calendar. Gerhard Lang is credited for making the first swing door calendar design. The swing door opened to reveal a quote or image. Nowadays, we see this design in popular chocolate advent calendars. Today you can find a wide range of advent calendars for sale, typically in cardboard holders with doors to open, that contain everything from chocolates to Lego.

DIY Advent Calendars

Whether you purchased EPC's Advent Calendar for 2022 or you want to make your own, here are some ideas. Envelopes are a great way to store the items for each day in your calendar. 

  • Sew a permanent advent calendar. Get out your sewing machine and make your own fabric creation. Consider making this felt hanger or this felt pocket hanger.
  • Purchase a hand-made advent calendar from a local artisan. Check out the many different craft shows or shop online at places like Etsy.
  • Use a chalkboard. Write the numbers 1-25 on the board in your favourite decorative script. Each day, erase a number after you open your envelope. Or hang a string of ornaments above each number and remove an ornament each day as you open your envelope. Check out this DIY Christmas countdown.
  • Papercraft. Build a mini-village with a house for each day. Put your envelopes inside or underneath the houses you build. Here is one idea for making your own village.
  • Adapt a Christmas card holder. Show off the attractive number labels on your envelopes by displaying all of them. Do you have a Christmas card holder already? Reuse your existing holder, or purchase a metal one
  • Use decorative clothespins. Browse the aisles at the craft store or the dollar store, and you will find many options. You can purchase decorative mini clips in fun Christmas designs or decorate yourself. Consider making a board on which to hang your pins.
  • Make a tree board. Paint a Christmas tree on a sheet of plywood, add metal clips to the board and use them to hang your envelopes. Or make something more elaborate like this wooden Christmas tree.
  • Make an advent calendar frame. A large picture frame and some decorative paper make an excellent background for hanging your envelopes. You can even share a picture of your frame daily on social media. Check out his Instagram Advent Calendar
  • Try something different and interactive. Construct a punch-out advent calendar

Julaine Scott

This article was supplied by our web developer. As a child, Julaine was a member of Brownies and Guides and later became a Junior Leader. When not at her computer, you can find her outside in her garden.


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