Besides drawing an Advent Calendar using the templates for this year (see the bottom of this post), here are several other ideas for creating a daily visual Advent calendar.
Draw your own calendar. My first praying in color Advent calendars were drawn one-day-at-a time. From one day to the next, I never knew what shape I was going to draw. I had a large piece of paper and prayed for a new person or prayed an Advent word each day. I loved paying attention to the improvisational inspiration of the new day.
Start with a large blank piece of paper. Every day, draw a shape: square, circle, triangle, rectangle, blob…. Write an Advent word or phrase in the shape. Or pray for a person. Add lines, arc, dots, squiggles, color….Let this be an opportunity for reflection and silence in your day.
Create an Advent tree calendar. Use paper shipping or merchandise tags. Each day write an Advent word, a “hope”, a thanksgiving, or a person’s name on a tag. Draw around the word or name as you ponder and pray. Add doodles and color. Tie the tag on the tree. This could also be an #AdventWord tree. See November 26 post about #AdventWord.
Make a clothesline calendar. Attach small envelopes to a rope or string with clothespins. Each day ask one family member to choose a word or name for the envelope. Doodle and color around it. Put dollar bills or loose change in the envelope of the day. When Advent ends, send the collected money to an organization or charity of your choice.
Make a participatory Advent Calendar/Wreath. Place a piece of white butcher paper or poster board on a table. Add four candles–four blue or four purple (or three blue/purple and a pink one).Use some artificial greenery or greenery from your yard to decorate. Each day invite someone (or everyone) in your home to add a word or name or piece of “artwork” to the calendar. Provide stickers, markers, ribbon, and colored paper. Give small children a chance to scribble or draw. At the end of Advent a wonderful, intergenerational collage of doodles, prayers, words, and designs will announce the arrival of Christmas.
Plant bulbs in stones or water. This is the time of year to buy Paperwhite narcissus and amaryllis bulbs. You can practically watch them grow. I like to plant them in a clear container so I can see the roots grow downward as the plant grows upward. This is a great way to teach children about waiting but not waiting in vain. Daily watering can be the task of a child.
Here are this year’s templates and the links to download them. For more information and instructions, see the November 12 post.
- Advent Tree Calendar 2018 Shapes (.pdf)
- Advent Tree Calendar 2018 Shapes–Dates (.pdf)
- Advent Box Calendar 2018 (.pdf)
- Advent Stained Glass Calendar (.pdf) This one has no dates so you can choose your own path through Advent.
- Advent Calendar 2018 Double Arcs–Dates (.pdf)
- Advent Star Calendar 2018 (.pdf)
- Dropbox link to all Advent Calendars.