Christmas Calendars Tips

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Are Christmas calendars a good idea when you are trying to make the holiday less commercial?

Use Christmas Calendars to Create the Christmas Spirit

All too often children get a terrible case of the "give me's" as the Christmas season approaches. If your child has already compiled a wish list that is thicker than a New York City phone book, you may be justifiably hesitant about doing anything that reinforces his or her greed. However, don't let your desire to make the holiday less commercial keep you from using a Christmas calendar to count down the days.

Instead of choosing a calendar filled with chocolates or other goodies, put a slip of paper with a task that your child can do for someone else in the compartment each day. If possible, make the task something that can be done as a family, since seeing you give your time or possessions to help someone else will probably make a bigger impression on your child than having him or her complete the task alone.

A few things that you may want to consider include:

  • Adopting a needy family and having your child choose and wrap a gift for a less fortunate child.
  • Putting together a box of necessities to deliver to the food pantry.
  • Inviting a lonely neighbor to dinner.
  • Caroling at the local senior center.
  • Making Christmas cards to hand out at the local hospital.

Of course, you don't want your child to resent the experience of giving to others, so you may want to put a treat in some of the compartments too.

Are there chocolate Advent calendars my kids can enjoy?

Sweet and Yummy Advent Calendars

If you are looking for an Advent calendar that is fun for both adults and children and is tasty too, you should consider a chocolate Advent calendar this Christmas season. Yes, Advent calendars come in chocolate and are ready for you to nibble on.

Imagine the surprise in your child's eyes this Christmas when you open the first numbered door of this type of Advent calendar and there is a little chocolate surprise waiting for him. You can choose from a children's design chocolate Advent calendar that features a cute Santa sitting in his sleigh or a Santa Claus Advent calendar that shows the big guy surrounded by little children waiting for a treat. If you prefer to go more traditional with your chocolate Advent calendar there are also chocolate Nativity Advent calendars that are just waiting for you to take a bite out of them.

One of the best things about this type of Advent calendar is that they are so reasonably priced. For less than $4 you can celebrate the Advent with this tasty treat.

Is there any way I can use my holiday calendar at other times?

Don't Put Your Holiday Calendar Away

As you carefully pack your decorations, you can't help feeling a little blue. Christmas is over and it will be 235 days before you can reasonably start pulling all these special pieces out again. It is a shame you can't use one or two things throughout the year instead of only using them for a few days. Actually, there are some fun options for reusing some of your holiday items for other events. One great idea for repurposing a Christmas item is to use your holiday calendar to count down to birthdays, Valentine's Day, or another important thing in your life.

Children love turning the tradition of counting down to Christmas into a birthday count down. To start your new birthday tradition, you should:

It may make more sense to go backwards so that the child ends up at number one on the big day.

  • Talk to your child about the way the calendar will work. While any child should enjoy this tradition, it is especially exciting to a child who is too young to figure out exactly when his or her birthday will arrive. He or she can easily see exactly when the big day will be.
  • What is one benefit of a wooden Advent calendar?

    Wooden Advent Calendars

    If you are looking for an Advent calendar that will hold up year after year, a wooden Advent calendar is the right choice for you. Wooden Advent calendars are a little less than 16 inches in height and usually come with 24 numbered compartments that can be pulled up to put a little surprise or Bible scripture in. Wooden Advent calendars are brightly colored with cute designs such as a snowman with a bag of stars.

    A neat feature of such calendars is that it allows you to decide which type of items you want placed in each of the 24 numbered compartments that are pulled open day after day. If you want to place a treat for your child on some days, you can. If you would rather focus on the more religious or spiritual part of the holiday, you can place your own Bible verse or scripture in the compartments. Or better yet, combine both ideas and have some scripture some days and treats the other. This way, whomever opens it will never know for sure what they might find in that compartment. It may just become a new family tradition that your child will look forward to each year. Advent calendars make great holiday decorations.

    Is there a way to make the countdown till Christmas healthy?

    Have a Healthy Countdown Till Christmas

    If you are concerned about making Christmas healthy this year, you may want to consider shopping for reusable advent calendars. Being able to choose the type of treats in the calendar is a great bonus for parents of children with nut allergies or parents who want their kids to eat healthy snacks. To have a healthier countdown till Christmas, you should:

  • Avoid filling the calendar pockets with chocolates or other types of candy. If you still want to give your children edible treats, consider giving granola bars, fruit snacks or a low calorie snack pack instead. If you would rather use fresh fruit or veggies, create tickets that say they are redeemable for a favorite fruit or veggie and place the tickets in the compartments. Your kids can redeem the tickets for a nice, fresh treat.
  • Think about avoiding food altogether. Stickers, temporary tattoos, gumball machine prizes or pocket change can be exciting prizes for young children. These prizes help you avoid having children associate junk food with rewards.
  • Consider making the holiday less commercial by filling each pocket with a coupon redeemable for a fun activity. Making cookies, taking a trip to the ice rink or creating a bird feeder to hang outside the window can all be exciting things for kids to do.
    What is a Foldout Advent Calendar?

    Foldout Advent Calendar

    Advent calendars have long been a family tradition for people who want to countdown the days until Christmas. A calendar such as this comes in many shapes and sizes, one being a foldout Advent calendar that features a wide variety of scenes when you open it, such as a winter nativity scene and 24 Bible verses to read in the days before Christmas Eve. You can also choose a Mary and Joseph Advent calendar that folds out to reveal the baby Jesus in a manger with his parents, or perhaps you would like a foldout Advent calendar that is the entire city of Bethlehem and a beautiful shiny North Star lighting the way for the Three Wise Men.

    Foldout Advent calendars are often made of a sturdy cardboard or fiberboard and paper with vibrant and glittery colors. Some of these calendars come with picture flaps to unfold that show a picture relating to the Advent and some come with Bible scripture that tell the story of the birth of Jesus. Whichever you choose, a foldout Advent calendar will surely add to your family's celebration.

    What is a Wooden Advent Calendar?

    Wooden Advent Calendar

    Advent calendars don't have to be made with paper or fabric, you can spend a little more money and purchase a wooden Advent calendar that can be used from year to year. You simply place your own little treats behind each door on the wooden Advent calendar and watch your family or friend's faces as they open each of the 24 windows daily. You can even purchase a wooden Advent calendar in which you place tiny Christmas pieces for each of the 24 days of Advent onto the calendar rather than opening a window. These calendars are truly special!

    You can choose from several different wooden Advent calendars that are spectacular to look at. From an Advent calendar house to a wooden Advent calendar in the shape of a Christmas tree or even one shaped like Santa's sleigh. Wooden Advent calendars are available in many choices that are sure to please just about anyone. They also make a great gift, with their beautifully painted details and solid wood structure, these wooden Advent calendars will last for many years to come.

    You can expect to pay around $75 for a wooden Advent calendar, but remember that you can use them every year to celebrate, so these calendars will pay for themselves with all of the use you will get out of them. Find them online or in specialty Christmas stores near you!

    Is there any way to make the whole process of opening Christmas calendars last longer?

    Use Christmas Calendars to Decorate a Miniature Tree

    As you watch your children open their Christmas calendar compartment for the day, you can't help wishing there was just a bit more to the whole process. They come running in, choose a person to open that day's door and enjoy the treat inside. Then, they're done. Isn't there some way to extend the opening procedure? Actually, one great way to make opening an advent calendar special is to look for a calendar that contains miniature ornaments.

    The day before the calendar countdown begins, have your kids help you set up a miniature tree. Once the tree is set up, you may want to spend some time talking about the story behind advent calendars.

    Each day, the kids can open a compartment in the calendar, pull out an ornament and hang it. While they are hanging the ornament, sneak a fun treat into the compartment so they can open it again and enjoy a prize. This is an especially good idea if you have two children, as they can both have a chance to open the compartment each day.

    When all the compartments have been opened, your kids will have an attractively decorated miniature tree that the whole family can enjoy.

    Are there any tips for choosing Christmas calendars?

    Choosing Christmas Calendars

    As you look at the selection of Christmas calendars, you're feeling a bit overwhelmed. There are so many calendars from which to choose. Which one is right for your family? Actually, while there certainly are many options, you shouldn't have to spend too long trying to find the perfect advent calendar. Think about the people who will be using the calendar before you begin your search. Be sure to keep your family members' attention spans and ages in mind as you look at the choices, and your calendar will almost choose itself.

    First, you will need to decide if you want a reusable calendar that can trigger fond memories of Christmas celebrations from previous years or if you prefer the excitement of a new calendar with surprises behind every door.

    For very young children, the excitement of being able to open a door or look into a little pocket is enough. For these children, a calendar that has a different picture for each day is terrific. For slightly older children, a piece of chocolate in each compartment will generate more interest than a calendar that doesn't hold a concrete reward.

    Teens usually feel too cool to be excited about an advent calendar, but if you leave the marker in the wrong spot on your reusable calendar, your teen will probably move it to the right spot, after delightedly informing you that you didn't remember to count off a day.

    Would my kids be interested in hearing the legends of Christmas?

    Sharing the Legends of Christmas

    There are many interesting Christmas legends, from the origins of Santa Claus to the significance of the Advent Calendar. A fun way to make the holiday special is to pass on all the stories about the traditions that your family honors during the season. To tell your children about all of the legends you enjoyed as a child, you should:

    • Prepare ahead of time by researching the stories behind the many symbols of Christmas. Your local library can help you gather picture books and legends about the star, the poinsettia and other special items that are associated with Christmas.
    • Wait until you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy sharing the stories you have to tell. Consider combining story telling with another activity, like decorating your new artificial Christmas tree. As you are telling your kids about old traditions, you will be starting your own special new tradition of telling tales and laughter during holiday preparations.
    • Be willing to cut a story short if your kids are starting to seem a bit restless. If possible, take your cue from serial television shows and stop at a suspenseful place. For example, if you are talking about the birth of Jesus, stop before the Wise Men find him or pause at the point where the shepherds are afraid. This way, your children will be more interested in hearing the end of the story when you want to finish it the next evening.

    Can advent wreaths help me make the countdown to Christmas?

    Use Advent Wreaths to Make the Countdown to Christmas

    Christmas advent wreaths are a nice option for people with limited wall space since these wreaths sit on a table or windowsill. They add a festive touch to small spaces and are the perfect choice for a table centerpiece. As conversation flows and people enjoy dining by the glow of the wreath's candles, they may not realize what that wreath symbolizes.

    Although many people simply enjoy using these wreaths as decorations, they do have an important religious significance as well. It is no coincidence that the wreath itself is formed in the same circular shape as a wedding ring, which symbolizes unending love. Each of the candles also has a different meaning, such as the shepherds discovering the birth of Jesus.

    For some, the wreath is used as part of the traditional Advent celebration. Each Sunday during the month of the Advent, a family member will add a candle to the wreath. After a prayer is said, the family lights the newest candle and the candles added to the wreath during the previous weeks. This weekly ceremony is supposed to remind the family why they are celebrating Christmas and to help them recommit themselves to their faith.

    What is the Catholic Advent?

    Celebrating Advent

    You're so busy rushing around getting ready for the Christmas season that you've almost forgotten one of the most important parts of the holiday - the Advent. Yes, you have a calendar, but Advent means more than opening little doors as you count down the days until Christmas. You need to take time to honor traditions that go back thousands of years too.

    To celebrate the Advent, you will need to:

    • Talk to your local parish priest or pastor to find out if he is following traditional Advent practices, which include a special mass or church service each day. While your church will probably be delighted to have you come each day, it is especially important to attend each Sunday mass or service, beginning with the Sunday that is right before or right after the Feast of Saint Andrew. This Sunday will begin the month of Advent, which always has at least four Sundays in it.
    • Think about the meaning of Advent. This holiday was created as a way for people to realize the importance of Christmas, but it was also designed to help people prepare for Christ to enter their lives.

    Are reusable advent calendars a good idea.

    Reusable Advent Calendars

    If you aren't happy with the thought of having to buy a cardboard advent calendar each year, you may want to take a look at reusable advent calendars. These durable and attractive calendars, which can be made with fabric or wood, are designed to be used year after year and allow you to fill them with your choice of holiday treats.

    Using the same calendar over and over again makes the tradition of counting down the days until Christmas extra special. When they are adults, your children will probably consider the calendar as a family heirloom.

    You may want to make hanging the calendar a family event along with setting up the Christmas tree. It will involve more work, but it does create wonderful memories for you and your children to remember.

    • Turn on some Christmas music and make a batch of hot chocolate.
    • Hang the calendar together.
    • Ask the other children to close their eyes as you have each child place a special item in a compartment of the calendar. You can fill the remaining compartments yourself at a later time or you can continue having your kids take turns filling them.
    • Read the Christmas story together and talk about how important the holiday is.

    What is a Musical Advent Christmas Calendar?

    Musical Christmas Calendar

    What can $10 get you as far as an Advent calendar goes? How about an Advent calendar that plays music? When you purchase this type of Advent calendar, you display it as you would any other Advent calendar, and you will open a window as you would any other Advent calendar to display a poem, a Bible verse, a picture, or a Christmas fact. The difference between your average Advent calendar and a musical Advent calendar is that your musical Advent calendar you can press a button that will play music!

    You can purchase a musical Advent calendar that has Santa Claus on it and plays Jingle Bells or a musical Advent calendar that has Mary and Joseph on it that plays Silent Night. These are just two of the many choices you will have when it comes to musical Advent calendars. If you like your countdown to Christmas to be musical, why not do some shopping online for an Advent calendar that plays a wonderful Christmas tune?

    What are Pet Advent Calendars?

    Advent Pet Calendars

    If you are a pet lover or you know someone that is, you probably want to include your pet in your countdown to Christmas. If so, you might want to include an Advent pet calendar. Yes, an Advent calendar made just for your pet, you didn't read that wrong.

    Just like the chocolate Advent calendars that have a special chocolate treat behind each window, a pet Advent calendar offers a special treat for your pet behind each window. Whether you have a dog or a cat, you can find an Advent calendar with treats made just for them. What a fun way to include your pet in your Christmas celebration!

    Including your pet in your celebrating will probably set you back around $9 or more for a 10-inch calendar, but imagine seeing that tail start wagging each day when you open the Advent calendar window, and the money spent will be worth it!

    What is an Illuminated Advent Calendar?

    Illuminated Christmas Calendar

    If you really want to shine some light on your Advent calendar, you might want to look into purchasing an illuminated Advent calendar to really brighten up your Christmas countdown.

    An illuminated Christmas calendar can also be 3D, for an added "wow" factor. Imagine your friends and family when they come to visit over the holidays and see your illuminated Advent calendar displayed proudly in your home. Your family may comment on how pretty each window is as you open it and display it in front of a light to see the opened window illuminate. Or they may comment on how nicely sized your illuminated Advent calendar is at almost 30 inches long and 11 inches wide. Perhaps your family will comment about the great price you got on this sparkly calendar, especially when you tell them you can purchase one for as low as $11 on the Internet.

    What will your family think of your illuminated Advent calendar this year? Don't wait to find out, start shopping today- Christmas will be here before you know it!

    What is a Hanging Advent Calendar?

    Hanging Christmas Calendars

    Advent calendars don't have to sit on your counter; there are Advent calendars that hang on the wall. These Advent calendars are a great way to decorate your walls at Christmas time and countdown the days before Christmas. Plus, this type of Advent calendar also frees up your counter space because you won't need to be sitting it on a counter or a table, it hangs on the wall and leaves your flat surfaces for other Christmas decorations.

    Hanging Advent calendars are often made with fabric, rather than paper, and usually have a magnetic Christmas-shaped item, such as a present, that you move from day to day until the big day arrives! Some of the really beautiful hanging Advent calendars come with buttoned fabric at the top that wrap around a decorative bar with a fashionable string for hanging on your wall. These hanging Advent calendars come in all sorts of Christmas designs, such as Santa Claus, a snowman, and of course, a Biblical scene. Regardless of what type of scene you choose, the hanging Advent calendar is sure to look great in your home. Prices vary depending on the hanging calendar and the type of fabric it is made from, but check online retailers and other stores for the best deals.

    What are Chocolate Advent Calendars?

    Tasty Christmas Calendars

    If you or someone in your family has a sweet tooth, you may want to consider purchasing an Advent calendar that offers you a tasty treat each time you open one of the 24 windows during your Christmas countdown.

    When you or your little ones open each window on the Advent calendar a chocolate treat will be waiting for them behind the window. This edible Christmas shaped chocolate treat will make your child's, or your own, wait for Christmas go by just a little bit faster, as we all know the days leading to Christmas can go by very slowly!

    These tasty Christmas calendars are usually made with paper and are very reasonably priced, sometimes as low as $2.50. You may be able to find this fun Advent calendar in retail stores or by searching the Internet. What a fun and delicious way to countdown those days before Christmas!

    What is a Foldout Advent Calendar?

    Foldout Advent Calendar

    There are many types of Advent calendars to choose from. One unique Advent calendar is the foldout Advent calendar. These calendars can depict any scene, from a Biblical scene with Mary and Joseph to a fun scene that features an animal with a festive hat to a snowman or any other type of Christmas scene you can think of.

    These foldout Advent calendars unfold from the middle and stand up on a counter or other flat surface. Within the festive scene of your foldout Advent calendar you will find 24 squares to open each day of Advent. These foldout Advent calendars are typically made with a fiberboard and are generally 10 by 14 inches and average about $5 or higher in price.

    Foldout Advent calendars can be reused from year to year, which makes them really special. As long as you care for them properly and store them in the appropriate container, your foldout Advent calendar will last for years!

    What is an Advent Calendar?

    What is an Advent Calendar?

    You may have noticed that many people have neat looking calendars that they use for several days leading up to Christmas. These calendars usually have little doors that you can open starting on December 1st going all the way to Christmas day. When you open a door you will see a Bible verse, a poem or a fact about Christmas, all depending on which type of Advent calendar you purchase.

    Calenders with Bible verses allow you and your family to memorize important ones or talk about what the verse means. If you choose an Advent calendar that has facts about Christmas, your family can chat about the fact and what it means to you and yours. Another great reason to have an Advent calendar around the house is to help children count down the days before Christmas. This type of calendar gives them a visual countdown for Santa's arrival.

    Paper Advent calendars have doors that open each day of December, while the fabric counterparts usually have a pieces to add or remove as the days pass until Christmas.

    Some Advent calendars even offer special tasty treats under each door. What will you decide on for your Advent calendar this year? Online stores, like, offer a wide variety of advent calendars to choose from.

    Are there other options for Christmas calendars to count down the days?

    Unique Christmas Calendars

    As you pull out your Christmas decorations, you realize that they're looking a bit stale. You need new and exciting decorations, but your budget won't allow you to replace everything. Since your advent calendar is looking particularly shabby, you decide that this is the year to shop for unique Christmas calendars. You can find calendars that count down to Christmas in the traditional rectangular style, but there are so many more options available that you are sure to find an updated calendar style that is perfect for you.

    Christmas advent wreaths are a nice choice for people with limited wall space, since these wreaths sit on a table or windowsill. They are designed to be used in a weekly family ceremony instead of being a daily goodie dispenser and Christmas countdown option.

    Inexpensive, disposable advent calendars are a perfect option for larger families. Choose a calendar for each child and clearly label each one before you hang them. Fights over who will be able to open the window that day will be a thing of the past, since each child will be able to get a treat from his or her own calendar compartment.

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    Guru Spotlight
    Jerry Mayo