Advent is just a few short weeks away (it begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving this year). It's a season of hope, patience, expectation, waiting. The people were walking in darkness. They knew the Light would come one day, but they didn't know when. Instead, they walked in faith, believing that redemption was near.
Every year, we remember (in some small way) the waiting - the walking-by-faith part of the story. This is why I love Advent calendars - a tangible way to count the days, to journey through Advent with a spirit of hope and expectation.
When I was growing up, we had a large felt Advent calendar shaped like a tree with a small ornament for each day. We also had an array of paper calendars with doors to open and Scripture verses to read (some even had chocolate inside!). For the past few years, SD and I have displayed this lovely Scripture card Advent calendar by Oh My Deer (included in the list below).
This year, I created my own Advent calendar based on those beloved hymns and carols of the season (available in the Doxology Press shop on Etsy). Because what better way to remember the Story and celebrate the season of hope than by singing the words of our faith?
There are many ways to count the days of Advent. From calendars to holiday decor, Christmas villages to journals, here are a few of my favorite Advent calendars:
01 | Advent Village
This adorable village is actually a printable kit from Mr. Printables (color and black & white options available). Print, fold, and arrange as you like! Set them up in a row along a shelf or mantel, as a Christmas village scene, or add one building each day during the month of December. (free)
03 | Mini Advent Gifts
Kate at Kate's Creative Space made the sweetest Advent "calendar" out of match boxes, raisin containers, and other tiny boxes. Each box is tagged with the date and includes a sweet note, gift, trinket, or treat to help mark the days of December and the season leading up to Christmas. See all of her ideas and a few more pictures here.
04 | Advent Garland
I love these beautiful Advent calendar cards with Scripture verses by Oh My Deer. Tuck them to a garland, tape them on a mirror or chalkboard, or clip them onto a wide satin ribbon. (free)
05 | Hymn Advent Calendar
A simple, printable Hymn Advent calendar based on your favorite Advent hymns and Christmas carols (numbers on reverse side). The file is ready to print, cut, and use! Each set includes 25 double-sided cards and four mini art prints that match the themes from the Sundays in Advent: Hope, Peace, Love, Joy. ($12)
06 | Envelope Calendar
The possibilities are endless with this calendar concept (via A Few Things From My Life)! Use tiny envelopes (like these), card-size envelopes, or envelopes of different sizes. Tuck a small trinket into each one, write a holiday activity, act of kindness, or Scripture reference. To display, pin to a bulletin board or tape onto a piece of foam board. (free)
07 | Linen Advent Calendar
If you know me, you know I love all things neutral. So naturally, I love how simple and minimalist this linen and felt Advent calendar is. It even includes a twig for hanging! ($76)
08 | Advent Art Journal
Another minimalist design, this printable art journal (card set) can be bound into a little book, displayed on a bulletin board, or pinned to a satin ribbon. Each card has a short Scripture verse from the Christmas Story and lots of white space for you to draw, sketch, or paint. Perfect for artists of all ages! ($8)
Do you use an Advent calendar? Which one of these is your favorite?