In the first day of December children start asking how many days it will be before Christmas.
Many families buy advent calendars as a count down to the big day.
I am not a fan of store bought advent calendars as most of them are just filled with cheap chocolate and even cheaper trinkets.
While the idea of having a countdown to Christmas is great I have always felt that there is a better way to do advent calendars.
Though advent calendars sounds like they are an ancient custom they have only really gained popularity since the 1950's. Being a relatively young idea I think that you should be able to customize it any way you would like.
There almost only tends to be two versions of advent calendars, those that are strictly religious and those that are strictly secular. When you design your own advent calendars you can decide what tone you want to set. You could have both secular and religious items for each day or what ever you decide.
Store bought advent calendars tend to be cardboard fronts with doors that open and have a prize behind them. As there are so many different ideas for Advent calendars on the internet you have a full choice of how you want to make yours.
I have always thought for children part of the fun of the season is sharing with other and jokes are a great way for them to do that. Searching on the internet you might find it difficult to come up with 25 different Christmas jokes that you want your children to hear and repeat but there are some good jokes out there. (Try this site ).You could also add word puzzles and mazes that you can print off that you find on the internet on sites like activity village. You could also put in explanations on how to do simple magic tricks or card tricks.
You could also add small Christmas ornaments that will become part of their own Christmas collection and stationary items like erasers or pencil toppers.
There are ideas of how to make many beautiful types of advent calendars on different craft sites. If you take your time to make these well then they will last you for many years and become part of the memories your children have of Christmas.
Here I just made small paper bags from different Christmas wrap and placed a number on each one that I printed on the computer. If the items that you put in each bag are not to heavy you could hang them from a colorful ribbon to make a banner or you could set them up on your side table or on your mantle.
While these little bags are not permanent they were rather quick to make (using a box that was 2 inches by 3 inches and 5 1/2 inches tall as the form) using the same technique I used to make these little mystery bags.
Decide what time of day you will be opening each advent bag and make it part of your Christmas tradition.