The Advent Calendar

Every year I plan to write a post on advent calendars and each year, time runs out on me.  This year, however I managed to get in just before the beginning of December which means you’ll still have time to do this quick and easy, no time to get fancy, advent calendar if you feel so inclined.

Just some seed packet sized envelopes, some string and some small pegs, along with some stamps to decorate.  Fun for the kids to be involved in too.

For the last few years we’ve been reading a part of the Christmas story each day and then collating them on a piece of paper so that we can see the story evolve.  It gets longer each day until we have the whole Christmas story at the end. We use the following adaptation, paraphrased into language kids will understand, by my beautiful friend Jane: 

1. The angel Gabriel took a message to Mary: Don’t be afraid!  God is pleased with you, and you will have a son.  His name will be Jesus.

2. The angel visited Joseph in a dream.  He said: when the baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

3. The angel told Mary that her son would be great, called the Son of the Most High.  God will make him a king and give him a throne and he will rule forever.

4. Mary & Joseph were engaged to be married and waiting for baby Jesus to be born.  The Roman Caesar said “everyone must be counted…”

5.  Everyone had to go to his own town, where he had been born to register.  So, Joseph took Mary on a long trip, from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be counted.

6.  When Mary & Joseph got to Bethlehem they looked & looked for somewhere  to stay.  All the houses were full so a kind man let them stay in his shed.

7.  In that shed, in Bethlehem , the time came for Mary to have her baby, & so there he was born: the Lord Jesus.  And his little cot was a manger.

8.  Just then, an angel came to visit the shepherds in a paddock near the shed where Jesus was born.

9.  The angels told the shepherds: “Don’t be scared.  I’ve got good news & it’s for everyone in the world…”

10.  The angels’ good news was: “Today in Bethlehem, the town of David, a saviour has been born; he is Christ the Lord”.

11.  Then the angel said: “You will find the baby wrapped in cloths & lying in a manger”.

12.  Suddenly, there were hundreds of angels in the sky praising God, above the shepherds & their sheep.

13.  The angels sang: “Glory to God in the Highest & Peace on Earth to People who Please God”.

14.  After the angels had gone back to heaven, the shepherds decided to go to Bethlehem & see the new baby.

15.  The shepherds went quickly & found Mary, Joseph & baby Jesus in the hay in Bethlehem.

16.  The shepherds told Mary & Joseph all about the angels & what they had said about the new baby Jesus.

17.  Everyone who heard the shepherds story were surprised and amazed!

18.  Mary kept thinking about everything the shepherds said and wondered what it meant.

19.  The shepherds went back to their sheep; praising God because of everything they’d heard and seen.

20.  Jesus also has the name “Immanuel” which means “God is with us”.

21.  Some wise men from the east saw a big star & knew it would lead them to the new baby Jesus.

22.  The wise men followed the star all the way to Bethlehem where it shone over the stable where Mary, Joseph & Jesus were.

23.  The wise men were excited to see the star because they knew that it pointed to the king of the Jews, baby Jesus, just like the prophets  had said.

24.  The wise men went into the stable to see Jesus and worship him.  They brought gifts for him of gold, frankincense & mhyrr.  Precious gifts for the new king.
There is a wonderful array of homemade advent calendar ideas across blogland.  I have made a collection of my favourites over here on pinterest if you are looking for ideas.

Do you have an advent calendar at your house?  Is it a special part of your own childhood memory of Christmas?  Or is just another thing to do at this craaaazy busy time of year?!

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  1. says

    My kids used to love the cheap and nasty chocolate ones but couldn't wait to eat them daily. They'd take up a whole shelf in the fridge. I'm up for a good alternative!

  2. says

    Oh Em that is adorable! I'll post my last minute advent calendar that we made today…like you time ran out. Where did november go? I love our story of Jesus…I might add that story to the advent calendar activities!! B xx

  3. says

    It was my intention to make an advent calendar for the kids this year (after procrastinating and leaving it too late the past couple of years). Seems I may have missed the boat again. Oops. Might try to do a quick envelope one if I can get my act together. Will be more organized next year (ha).

  4. says

    I hunted out my matchboxes today – and they&#39;re still intact – yay(and thanks for the pin!)<br />I love yours too…beautiful way to tell the story

  5. says

    Thanks for the version of the story in bite sized pieces….I think I shall use this with our traditional advent calender…one where the kids take a piece out of a window and hang on the picture kind…no cheap chocolate any where in sight. xx

  6. says

    Hey there! I bought two wooden ones with little doors while they were on special, and imagine we&#39;ll put our own drawings over the kitchy ones (maybe that will happen next year). I knew I couldn&#39;t put chocolates in the doors because they&#39;d all get eaten in one day, but I LOVE your story idea. Will definitely be using that! Thanks Emma!<br />

  7. says

    This is so lovely. I have a little wooden house with numbered drawers (about big enough for a jellybean or two) but I have been filling it so far (two days in!) with little Christmas stickers. I wonder if it&#39;s too late for the story to be added.<br />So looking forward to your Christmassy stuff this year!

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