I love buying holiday decorations at Costco. When you live in a small town you don’t have much of a selection and walking into Costco is like a kid walking into a candy store. So many things, so little money. It was there a that I found a reusable advent calendar. I was familiar with the ones we sold in German club in high school where you open a window and get a little piece of chocolate. But this was nirvana, I could stick so many things into those little cubicles, my mind was racing with ideas.
One thing I have learned is to not fill them all in advance, naughty elves (some over 6 feet tall) would sneak the candy when I wasn’t looking. We have found many things in those cupboards over the years. If you don’t have an advent calendar you can do a google search and find a huge variety to make for all skill levels. Here are some easy and simple ideas to fill yours up.
I put in little bits of candy so that there are several kinds and you don’t know what you are going to get day-to-day. The Dollar Store is a good place to purchase a large variety in small amounts.
Put in slips of paper with the titles of Christmas songs. By Christmas eve you will have enough to go around to your neighbors and sing for them.
One year I had everyone write nice notes to each other and different days would have one for the person opening the door.
The year of the riddles was quite fun to watch. The kids had to figure it out in order to find the candy.
Once I found mini glass ornaments and those were put onto a mini tree I had purchased. As the season progressed the tree filled up.
Here is a list of items that bring Christmas back to the Bible. You can just print off the words, print off mini pictures or get creative and find the items around your house.
1. Crown (Have the kids make their own) – The King is coming! Christmas is a time to celebrate the coming of Christ. Jeremiah 23:5-6
2. Fish (such as Goldfish crackers) – Surprise! Read how others were surprised at finding fish as well. Luke 5:4-7
3. Candle (birthday candle) – Be a light in the world Matthew 5:14-16
4. Bundle of sticks (toothpicks)–Break 1 stick. Pretty easy huh? Try to break the rest all together. Not so easy is it? We can do amazing things when we stick together. Matthew 18:19-20
5. Peanuts – Jesus speaks of food often. John 4:31-38.
6. Rainbow (food coloring and decorate cookies, read the book Rainbow FIsh) – What promise does a rainbow remind you of? Genesis 9:8-17 and I John 2:25
7. Cross – What does this symbolize? Philippians 2:5-11
8. Fruit gum – What is the fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22
9. Dove (Find the bird or just use Dove chocolate) – What does this bird symbolize? Matthew 3:16
10. Candy kiss and Hugs – Kisses and hugs show love. Matthew 22:37-40
11. Smile sticker– If you are happy let others know about it and SMILE! Philippians 4:4-9
12. Bell – Make some beautiful music. Psalms 100:1-5
13. Candy cane – Right side up it looks like a shepherd’s staff, upside down like a J. Read about a good shepherd. John 10:11, 14-16
14. Heart (stickers or heart-shaped candy) – Who loves you? Luke 15:11-24
15. Dime – Only ten days till Christmas and lots of gifts to open!!! Read how one woman gave a very important gift. Mark 12:41-44.
16. Praying (picture)- Praying is just talking to God. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
17. Raisins – Raisins come from the grape-vine. John 15:4-5
18. Cup (one from a Barbie Doll or get their own they can decorate) – We need a cup to drink water, we need water to live. Matthew 25:35
19. Life savers – We all need to be saved. Luke 8:41-42 & 49-56
20. Favorite candy – What is the best gift you have ever received? James 1:17
21. Eraser – Have you ever wished you could go back and erase something you did or said? I John 1:9
22. Sheep (cotton balls can stand in for the wool, or get a sheep from a tiny crèche) – Who is our shepherd? Psalms 23
23. Honey (small packet from KFC) – What a sweet treat! Are the things you say just as sweet? Proverbs 16:24 & Colossians 3:17
24. Mini Bible – Read about the birth we are celebrating. Luke 2:1-20
25. Baby – Enjoy the celebration today and forever. Luke 2:8-16