Other Advent Calendar Ideas

Nov 26, 2011

Here is an Advent calendar shaped like a Christmas tree. Feel free to download the template here or click on the drawing itself. I like to take a copy of the 8 1/2 x 11 page to a commercial copier, enlarge it to 11 x 17 inches (about 129%), and print it on white card stock.

This calendar is designed to start  tomorrow November 27, the first Sunday of Advent, and go through December 24. You can add dates to the shapes and start drawing in any of the twenty-eight shapes–one a day. The star at the top of the tree is not considered a day unless you want to make it Christmas.

Last Advent, I did a Praying in Color workshop at a Catholic parish in Pittsford, New York called St. Louis Church. The woman in charge of organizing the workshop gave each family a piece of string, tiny manila envelopes and clothespins to create an Advent calendar. Each day someone would draw a prayer on an envelope and hang it on the clothesline. Families had different ideas about what to put in the envelopes–candy, toys, little notes….One idea I liked: Each day anyone could put pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in the envelopes. At the end of Advent the family would decide where to donate the collected money.

Depending on how much space you have, the clothesline and the envelopes can be small or large.


  1. I have been come across your work a few times and love the approach – do you have brands of markers and gel pens that you most enjoy working with? I am looking to buy some that would work well with this Color in Prayer practice. I appreciate any suggestion you might have.
    Amy Miyamoto

    • Hi Amy, I use different kinds of markers at different times. My favorite are Copic, but they’re expensive and available only online or at art stores. Crayola Super Tips are an inexpensive alternative you can get anywhere–Target, WalMart, Office stores….They work very well and come in a package of 50 interesting colors for only about $5-$7. I use these for my own prayers as well as for large groups. The Copic markers are about $5 apiece. (The Copic are also waterproof and permanent) I use a black roller ball pen for outlines. You can get them in art stores, office supply stores, Target, WalMart. Happy praying/drawing.


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