I'm not sure which is my favorite holiday, Christmas or Easter. However, one can't deny that when it comes to the seasons leading up to these most holy days in the church calendar, Advent's got Lent a little beat as far as "fun" and "warm feelings" go. Am I right? All my life I've been a real sucker for Christmas, but it wasn't until several years ago that I began to truly enjoy the season of Advent...the intentional waiting, preparing, and thinking on the most amazing, crazy idea that God came to this world to be one of us.
I have a huge soft spot for liturgy and church symbolism. I also have a growing distain for much of the Christian "art" that is out there, and I'd like to play my part in stopping its spread. Since I couldn't find the calendar I was dreaming up, I decided to create my own for my family this year. For the last month or two finding the right scripture, the right activity, and creating the right design for each of the 28 days has been a real labor of love. It's finally complete and printed, hung by the fireplace, and waiting for Wednesday, November 28, to let the games begin! Here are some of my favorites...
So...my Christmas gift to you this year, dear reader, is sharing this Advent calendar with you (the print-yourself-version at least) for FREE for a limited time! I'd love to charge a pretty penny for all the work I put into it, but I'm not about to be a Grinch and hinder anyone from experiencing the Advent season in a new and intentional way this year: a way that goes beyond a daily piece of cheap chocolate, or a little gifty trinket that may soon be forgotten (not that I won't also probably buy the cheap chocolate one).
Each day has a 4x6 card with a seasonal design on the front by yours truly and a back with the day's summary, Bible verse, and suggested corresponding activity (concept inspired by this). Many of the activities are simple and won't take much work and some days are a little bigger, but each is intended to prepare our hearts for Christmas (day 1) and intentionally experience the season of Advent, filled with waiting and wonder. We used clothespins to attach each card to one string of twine and hung it up by the mantle, but you could hang it down the stair rail, as a decoration somewhere else, or come up with some other way to display/use it.
No matter how you spend your holiday season, I hope that you'll find time for quiet, coziness, and togetherness with the ones you love, and that you'll take time to ponder and behold God's love for the world. Please download the calendar and enjoy using it this season and for Advent seasons to come!
Download FREE CalendarThanks for your interest, but the free download was only available for a limited time. You can still purchase it through my Etsy store (see link below).
Please note that the file is large and may take a minute to download. If you are printing this yourself, I recommend 110# cardstock, which you can find at your local office supply store. This paper weight may be too thick for your home printer, but you can have it printed double-sided at Office Max, Kinkos, etc. If you end up using the calendar, I'd love to hear how you set it up or how it worked for you.
Order Printed Calendar
If you are interested in purchasing an already-cut, professionally printed version of this Advent calendar, you can use the link above to order it through my Etsy shop. Be sure to order by this Monday at the latest in order to get it before Advent begins. If you work at a church and are interested in ordering copies for multiple families in larger quantities, contact me at sarahondrey(at)gmail.com and I can hook you up ASAP!