Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Advent Jar

I did this project two years ago, and I recently had an e-mail asking where the post went. Yeah. Good question. Since changing over my domain, I seem to have lost dozens of posts. They’re out there somewhere, but I figured it might be a good idea to refresh it.

advent calendar jar

This advent idea was made out of mini matchboxes. I bought a pack of them at the grocery store, painted the insert part white, and wrapped the outside with scrapbook paper. The outside is labeled with the countdown day, and it’s complete.

scrapbook advent   matchbox advent

I try to remain really conscious of not letting the “I want that!” mentality overwhelm the spirit of Christmas at JaG’s house, so I tried to come up with advent ideas that were mostly about spending time together. Plus, they’re pretty much free. Santa’s on a budget this time of year.

altered matchboxes 

Matchbox advent calendar

There is such an extensive list of things you could add to this list, but these are the ones we’ll be using this year. I added a couple of notes to some since we’ve been doing this a couple of years.

  1. Play a board game together
  2. Build a fort and have dinner in it (the kids’ favorite)
  3. Cut out paper snowflakes
  4. Pick out a toy for Toys for Tots
  5. Make popcorn and watch a Christmas movie
  6. Find a special treat
  7. Special treat: Hot cocoa and marshmallows
  8. Make a Christmas craft (check the internet—tons of ideas out there)
  9. Breakfast for dinner
  10. Find a special present and open it (always dollar store items)
  11. Make a card for someone and mail it
  12. Go to dollar store and shop for family (again—kids LOVE)
  13. Go out to a movie
  14. Decorate a gingerbread house
  15. Kids make dinner for Mom and Dad
  16. Go see Santa Claus
  17. Make a pinecone bird feeder
  18. Make a Christmas craft
  19. Find a special present and open it
  20. Go bowling
  21. Bake Christmas cookies
  22. Go downtown and look at lights
  23. Popcorn and movie night
Matchbox Advent

So what about you? Do you have any ideas that you use with your family? I’m always curious for new ideas. Anything I’m missing?

66 comments:

Tammy said...

What a fabulous idea! Our kids are out of the house now but I love this idea and will share it with friends whose kids are still at home.
We used to make smores around the fireplace, turn out all of the lights but the Christmas tree with soft Christmas music in the background and just chat. It's amazing where the conversation goes. Lots of fun! Baking cookies is another tradition the kids still love.

Melanie said...

That is a great idea. Cute and I love that you thought of all the great ways to spend time together.

chocoholic said...

I love it! I'm filing it away for future Christmases.

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

I love this idea.... It's just perfect and focuses on time spent with your loved ones....not on newest and greatest whatever!

One year my daughter did something similar to this for my birthday. She filled a jar with little notes reminding me of special times we've spent together.... She remembered many that I had long since forgotten. It's still one of my all-time favorite gifts.

Warm blessings,
Spencer

Brunner Family said...

OMG!!!! Love, love, love this idea. So pretty (and so many ways to personalize)!! I am just sad it wasn't posted sooner as I woulda SO done this for our advent "calendar" this year! hmmm... I may have to find another use for this before next Christmas! :) I just found your blog a few weeks ago and am thoroughly enjoying it!! Thanks for your creative ideas for some of us not-so-creative-on-our-own types!;)

Jenny said...

I love this! I have been wanting to do something like this, so your post was very timely! Thanks for sharing such a fun idea with such a great focus on giving and family.

Estela @ Weekly Bite said...

What a clever idea! I love it!

Julie said...

Wow, I love this -- and I did not see it the first time around, so I'm glad you re-posted. I will definitely implement this for next year. I even have that exact apothocary jar to put my little matchbooks in!

Michaela said...

SO adorable!! (: I love the surprise element!

Megan {Honey We're Home} said...

I'm loving all the advent calendars I'm seeing lately and this one is for sure a keeper! I'm bookmarking this page for all the great ideas inside too! What a fun mom you are:)

Nancy said...

Loved it and wanted to leave my shout out link for you, Chris! Merry Christmas!!

http://johnhoodfamily.blogspot.com/2010/12/what-make-over.html

Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

So great! I just posted our advent calendar idea today . . .but it takes up way too much space. Same idea with the family activities, though. Can't wait to do the jar next year.

Sarah @ Cozy.Cottage.Cute. said...

Those tiny boxes are adorable!!

The fort idea is super cute, too. :)

The Mulberry Girl said...

Cute cute idea.
Now, I've been looking for that post where Olivia is a pizza. Do you still have that one? (and WHY am I cracking up when I type this?) ;)

Jerri-Lea said...

We are taking baby formula to the food bank and pet supplies to the animal shelter. As well as leaving little gifts around town (a Christmas cd, a filled stocking, leaving a gift card someone's car).And one day the girls' magic elf will arrive ~ we'll see what trouble they get into.

begin with a Sunny Outlook said...

Great idea - love it! And love the simplicity of your list - it really is what Christmas is all about!

Blondie said...

Such a great idea honey!!!! Kori xoxo

The Autocrat: Haley said...

OOOO Best advent idea that I have seen!

georgetownfresh said...

Oooh, this is a GREAT one! I have been racking my brain to come up with an Advent tradition for our family. Our oldest is three and our traditions are really starting to roll this year!

Tara@JustDevineStyle said...

I love this! It is such a great idea and it looks so good as decoration! Love love love it!

LacyHolly said...

This is great! I do not have kids, but I may just have to make one for the bf and I. We could make a fort and eat dinner in it! Haha. I'm sure I could come up with things that us grown ups could do. Thank you for sharing!

Becky said...

Thanks for the great idea! we are short on space around here and this doesn't take up much space at all :)

Chelsy@ Sweet Pea Kisses said...

So, so cute! I've been searching all over blog land for an advent idea to use with toddlers. I'm thinking I can tweak this a little so it can grow with them! Thanks for the inspiration!

Wendy said...

Great idea, thanks for sharing it...I have a bunch of match boxes, this will an awesome way to use them. Oh! my kids are going to love this.

Dani'sfadingmargins said...

I looove this craft! So beautiful and simple.

A German Christmas tradition my family enjoys: You can still buy these little green pickle Xmas ornaments some places, and one person hides that on the tree somewhere, the rest look for it, and whoever wins gets a special gift! And they get to buy the gift new year. Awesome? Yes.

I'm new here, but I love visitors!! http://fadingmarginsofdani.blogspot.com

The Martys said...

I just love that idea. I am putting that in my Christmas idea book for future years. Thanks. Very clever!!

Cate said...

I am totally doing this next year! We've been looking for an advent calendar but just haven't found the perfect one. I've already exceeded my Christmas craft budget for the year (oops), but next November, I'll be all over this. ;-)

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

What a great idea!!! I think I'll make one of these for my friend that has kids! They would love it!

Aimee said...

I love this idea so much!!! Thanks for posting.

Tara Lauren said...

Such a great idea! I love it!

I just wish I had the time to put it together!

Krystal {Blue Ribbon} said...

OMG This is amazing! I love the colors! What a great idea!

Carrie @ Dittle Dattle said...

Chris~ I do the same thing each year with my kids! But I have never presented it quite this cute before! Thanks for sharing :D

Jenni said...

We do an advent calendar every year just like this. In addition to many of the things on your list we also ring the salvation army bell. Do a giving tree. Make neighborhood gifts and distribute them (usually hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows). Do a puzzle night (we put together a puzzle every december and the girls love it!) Go to a festival of nativities (or you could go to a festival of trees) And we are sure to read the christmas story one night. We call ours the 25 days of Christmas and my girls look forward to it all year.

I do LOVE your jar full of boxes, though. We have ours in a little wooden church with 25 doors/windows to open.

Jenni

Laura Lynn said...

So cute. I love using matchboxes for things. I use them for gift tags all the time or invites to parties. No one ever forgets their invite when I do that!

Jennifer said...

um I loved your wreath, cable sweater sleeves and advent jar so much that I decided to do an holiday inspiration post and blogged about you!
http://perfectlyimperfectjenn.blogspot.com/2010/12/holiday-inspiration.html

Sara said...

This is such a great idea! Thank you for posting this. I don't even have children, but I think this would be fun for my husband and I!

Diana @ Photodee said...

Another great idea! My husband and I do something similar for Hanukkah...each night we do something special. We go out for Chinese Food, we go see holiday lights, he reads me a bedtime story, we have a dinner with his family, we have one with mine. I celebrate Hanukkah and he celebrates Christmas, but for future little ones, I think this is a great way to celebrate the season. I, too, feel the holidays have gotten blown out of proportion and it needs to be more about spending quality time together and less about spending money!

Birgit Kerr said...

Ok, this is just the cutest! What a great idea!!

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

That is so cute and unique. The Bavarian Christmas linky party is now open-won’t you come and join us at http://dobermans-by-the-sea.blogspot.com/2010/11/1st-christmas-linky-party-at-dobermans.html and while you are there join the give-a-ways going on.

Andrea said...

I love the match box idea. I have a similar advent with something for us to do. I really like the make dinner for mom and dad. One I added this year was a fondue night.

Edinalva said...

Fantastic! Thanks.

Jenny said...

Any other ideas for using something other than matchbox ideas. I've allready spent a fortune on random christmas decorations and craft projects and don't really want to make one more trip to the store...

Inspire Me Heather said...

I loved your idea and I like your sayings too - I linked it to my "advent calendars" post too!

Cassie {Hi Sugarplum!} said...

I love advent calendars too...and actually made one for my kids this year. (I posted it Monday) My kids are having a hay-day with it!!!

I love your version!!

Gail @ SimplyOney said...

What an adorable idea!!!
When I was growing up we used to spend a couple nights reading all the classic Christmas stories together and I still love going through them each year =)

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

One of the best advent designs I have ever seen! Love it!!

Emily @ LaForce Be With You said...

I love your advent jar and all of the activities!

Ro said...

This would also be very cool for those without children. Just think of all the options.

Lisa at Paint in my Hair said...

I do the same thing! Yours is a million and three times prettier, though.

Lil' Woman said...

Love this!

Janine said...

Hi
I'm a new follower here and am alos new at blogging and this week I put together an advent chocolate bowl. each day my miss c takes a chocolate out. easy and yummy so she tells me..
http://nametocome.blogspot.com/

Interior Design Musings said...

OK, this is one of the coolest crafts I have seen in a very long time! Love it. I would love to link to this next week for one of my posts! Let me know if you are up for that, and I will gladly do it. Just so you know, I have never linked to a post for one of my post. I just think this is that cute! Mandi.

sunshinequeen said...

Too funny, I literally sat down to my computer to find that post from a while ago...Look at the lasting impression you have on me ! Thanks

HALLELUJAHS said...

Love this. Totally L.O.V.E.

Thanks for sharing,
Holly
http://hallelujahsbyholly.blogspot.com

Anneliese said...

My mother did the matchboxes with us when we were little and my sister gave my siblings and I a set a few years ago to do with our children. I love it! I love the idea of having something fun to do every day in December. We usually include some things like, "get out the nativity," "read Christmas stories," and "decorate the Christmas tree." Love the idea of putting them in a cute glass jar.

Country Dreaming said...

How about---

A pizza, pj picnic.
Reading Christmas stories out loud.
Reading The Christmas story.

Melinda

Αγαπη said...

I love love love this!! And it's so cute to top of the meaningfulness behind it! :) Thanks for sharing!

Southern Fried Gal said...

Such a sweet idea and a beautiful implementation!

Mama Bear said...

Love this. Once my daughter is older I will definitely be stealing this idea!

Jen said...

What a great & fun idea!
And its beautiful too!

Ally said...

As many previous commenters said, I LOVE that you made each card list an activity to do together. Nothing says "holiday" more than spending time with the ones you love. Very cool idea, and extremely cute.

AmericKim said...

How fantastic! I love the idea!

Ellie said...

I love the idea of using matchboxes! And the quality time together is priceless. Thanks for sharing!

Ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com said...

That's a super cute idea/project!

Shelly said...

Love this idea! You listed such great activity ideas!

Decor Girl said...

I love this. Suggesting as a project for next year. Super idea.

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