Growing up my family had lots of Christmas traditions, but one of my favorite traditions is the Christmas countdown advent calendar my mom would put together every year for my brother, my sister, and me. We would untie a small present each day to countdown the 24 days of December leading up to Christmas Eve.
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Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and I have so many great memories as a child. My family would chop down a real Christmas tree and decorate it with tons of handmade ornaments. We would always read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. My huge extended family would get together for fun Christmas celebrations that included tons of candies and eggnog that my grandma would make. But one of my most favorite traditions is the Christmas countdown advent calendar my mom would put together every year.
How the tradition began
The advent calendar tradition began with my older brother. Someone gave him the Christmas countdown advent calendar with peppermint candies tied to it for each day of December until Christmas Eve. When my sister and I were old enough to have one, my mom made one for us. Instead of peppermint candies, she would tie on little presents for the 24 days of December leading up to Christmas Eve.
The ribbons are untied from the bottom up, and she would always put some sort of Santa at the top since that’s the night Santa would visit our house. She would also put an ornament on—usually timing it for when we would put up our tree.
Through the years, my mom has made many Christmas calendar advent calendars for friends and family, including one for my precious dog Wrango. Since she is an expert at making them, she put together a downloadable pattern with directions for me to share with you! You can download the directions here.
Passing on the tradition
As an adult, I still love the advent calendar tradition—and secretly hope each year my mom will send me one!!! 🙂 This year, I am making one for my sweet friend Jade and my loving dog Wrango. Jade is actually the one who gave me Wrango almost eight years ago. We moved shortly after we got him, but she comes to visit him as often as she can.
Jade loves everything girly, so I’ve put all the things she loves on her advent calendar. Be careful, because the cost can add up quickly when you have to find 24 things small enough to tie on. However, you can offset some of the costs with candy and inexpensive trinkets.
Wrango’s Christmas countdown advent calendar is going to drive him crazy. I made a trip to Petco to get his goodies, and when I got home he could definitely smell the bag. In fact, he is sitting here right now wagging his tail hoping I won’t make him wait until December 1 to start taking off his treats.
How the Christmas Countdown advent Calendar works
The advent calendar has 24 pieces of yarn that are used to tie on the presents. You have to start from the bottom and work your way to the top. At the top, there is a bell and a poem that I have included in the downloadable directions.
When I put the gifts on, I lay the pieces of yarn to alternating sides to better help me find each piece as I go up the Christmas countdown advent calendar. Two things they will each get are a Santa at the top and an ornament. You can be as creative as you want with what goes on yours. Here are the things I’ve put on Jade and Wrango’s advent calendars this year.
One year I made small Christmas themed bags to hide the gifts in. This was a big hit. This particular year I used a lot of gift cards and money to fit inside each bag.
Things on Wrango’s Christmas Countdown advent Calendar
Wrango’s advent calendar was much simpler than Jade’s. He doesn’t really like toys, so he is getting lots of treats! I went to PetCo and bought everything except for the Santa at the top. Along with the many treats, he is getting a bandana that says, “On the Nice List,” a dog paw ornament, and Santa poop bags. I bought the Santa chew toy from Amazon. I know he doesn’t like toys too much, but I still had to get him a Santa for the top!
Look at this sweet boy. While I was trying to take pictures he couldn’t resist, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him no.
Have fun making your own advent Calendar
You can download the directions and a pattern to make your own Christmas countdown advent calendar here. Even if you aren’t a seamstress, it’s really simple to make. I hope your loved ones enjoy the advent calendar tradition as much as I have!