For those that celebrate Christmas, counting down the days can be one of the best parts, but it can also be exceedingly tough. Young kids are so excited they can hardly stand the wait. For some, it’s an extremely hard time of year. Whether you love the countdown or just need some help getting through the season, a countdown (advent) calendar can make the time pass a little more enjoyably.

Advent calendars have figured into every December that I can remember. My mom made my calendar and now it belongs to my oldest son. She also made a calendar for my younger son. It’s much newer but just as loved. In our family, small items get tied to each ring on the calendar. Sometimes it’s a small toy. Sometimes it’s a dollar bill. Most often, it’s a small strip of paper that lists a holiday activity or random act of kindness. We’re big on giving back to our fellow man here at the Love house and this is an easy way to get even the youngest kids involved. Whatever you choose, you’ll love how excited your kids get to see their daily surprise and how anxious they are to do a good deed or two.

counting down to christmas

DIY Calendars

Making your own countdown calendar doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Popsicle sticks in a jar, envelopes clipped to a length of twine, or small cardboard boxes can all be arranged into a perfectly wonderful calendar. If you have more time you can stitch a calendar (like the ones my mom made) or paint a wooden version. DIY calendars are reusable and endlessly customizable, making them wonderfully personal gifts for the little ones in your life.

Here’s a little gift to make a DIY calendar easy peasy! Print out as many of these as you need and write in fun activities, good deeds, or hilarious jokes! You can print them on cardstock or regular paper, whichever is going to be best for the calendar you’re making.

Refillable Calendars

If you are short on time or just don’t feel the crafty vibe, a pre-made, refillable calendar can be the way to go. Many of these are made up of small boxes or drawers for the daily gift. A well made calendar will last indefinitely, making this a great option to be passed down to future generations. They can be a bit harder to find, but local Christmas stores will probably carry them. There’s always the old standby, as well – Amazon. My personal favorite source is Bronner’s, a gigantic Christmas store in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Pre-Filled Calendars

Short on time? Looking for something really specific? Check out the many pre-filled options that are out there. Whether you’re looking for candy, toys, or something else entirely, you are sure to find something suitable.

The links below showcase just a few of the possibilities that are available online. Since December 1st is only a short time away, I recommend ordering quickly if you decide to go this route. These come in at a variety of price points, so I’m confident there’s something available for just about everyone.

Have a source for your favorite countdown calendar? Share in the comments so that we can all check it out!

Candy-Filled Countdown Calendars

There are hundreds of pre-filled candy options out there. Let us know which one you love!

Grown Up Countdown Calendars

Pop Culture Countdown Calendars

*These links will open new windows in your browser. I am not associated with any of these products or companies, I simply enjoy them or think they’re clever. A few of these links may be affiliate links, meaning that, if you purchase from them, The Love Eclectic could potentially make a small commission.