Anticipation … looking forward … it’s what the Christmas season is all about here at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland … and perhaps at your house, too!
Many Christians observe Advent as a time of patient expectation, a celebration of the first coming of Christ the Savior to a manger in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago … and a look to His second coming.
We love the tradition of Advent wreaths and candleholders, too. Perhaps your church and/or family lights a candle weekly in joy and anticipation of the birthday of the King. Let the countdown begin!
Bronner’s offers a variety of countdown Advent calendars.
But how about MAKING a countdown Advent calendar this year and making even MORE memories with the kids or grandkids?! (You never can have too many Advent calendars or too many Christmas memories!)
I don’t know a single child of any age who doesn’t like balloons! A balloon-garland Christmas-countdown calendar is easy to make and POPPING good fun!
COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS BALLOON GARLAND
You’ll need …
25 balloons, your choice size and colors (We chose a red/green/gold color theme and 10-inch, helium-style balloons.)
25 red clothespins (available at craft stores or online)
25 pieces of miniature Christmas candy
Two or three 10-ft. garlands (depending on the size of your balloons and how close you clip them next to each other on the garland) We chose this festive red/green/gold garland that was a perfect match with our balloons!
Number stickers (enough to do the countdown from 25 to 1) *If you have a Cricut, you may want to make your own letters and attach them to the balloons with glue dots. Or you can forego the number stickers and number each balloon using a wide-tipped black permanent marker.
Glue dots (Some of our numbers didn’t stick well. Glue dots help secure them to the balloon.)
- Hang your garland.
- Stretch the necks of your balloons and pop in a piece – or two or three – of miniature Christmas candy.
- Blow up your balloons (we like using a balloon pump) and knot each one.
- Attach numbered stickers and hang from the garland.
- Pop one each day beginning December 1 and enjoy the treat(s)!
Tip: Air-filled balloons last about two weeks so you may want to start with 14 balloons (numbers 25 through 12) and add a new one to your garland each day as you count down.
Another great do-it-yourself Countdown to Christmas calendar is a colorful paper-chain garland you make with the kids!
COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS PAPER-CHAIN GARLAND
You’ll need …
Scrapbooking cardstock in festive Christmas colors and patterns, 2 sheets each of 3 colors/patterns
A stapler and staples or Scotch tape
A fine-point marker or pen in your choice of colors
- Cut cardstock into 1 1/2-inch wide strips.
- Apply number stickers (or write the numbers with marker) on the outside of each strip, counting down from 25 to 1.
- Write a good deed for your child(ren) to do or a Scripture to read aloud together on each strip.
- Loop the strips and form a chain, securing each loop with staples or tape.
- Hang the garland on your Christmas tree, stair rail, or other location of choice.
- Take one loop off the chain each day. Read the good deed (and do it that day) or read the Scripture together.
Tip: For families with more than one child – or if Mom or Dad wants to get in on the fun too – simply add extra links to the chain.
The good news is it’s really affordable and fun for each of the kids to have their own 25-day Advent calendar – some with doors opening to chocolate, others with doors opening to Bible verses, those opening to pictures, one that folds out, two with stickers, and two the kids can color.
Fabric Advent calendars are popular and can be used year after year.
Looking for a Christmas keepsake to use year after year that can also be passed down as an heirloom? Choose wooden Advent calendar boxes.
So make every day to Christmas count! Merry Christmas!