DIY Advent in 30 minutes for $5


December 2, 2015 by CassieCravings

This Christmas little Eli will be 5 years-old. I remember my 5 year-old Christmas being a pivotal one, because it is the first year that I can remember every detail of that day. I want Eli to have that same memorable experience. With the idea of focusing on creating memories this year, I DIYed a quick, easy and cheap Advent Calendar.



Most of the materials I already had on-hand, which made for a really cheap project.


  • Mason Jar
  • Ribbon (for decoration)
  • colorful pens
  • craft sticks (which I bought for $1.99/100)



This project took less than 30 minutes. 2/3 of that time was spent in thinking up and deciding on 25 activities that would be doable even on weekdays and would be our best memory makers.

I scribbled down 25 activities on a piece of paper. Some I found on Pinterest. Many were tailored to fit our family and/or Texas climate. For example: “Build a snowman.” became “Build a snowman out of Play-Doh.”

When I settled on 25 of them (1 each for the first 25 days of December), I wrote them in green and red pens on the craft sticks. I wrote one activity on each craft stick.

To add a bit of festivity to the mason jar, I tied a bit of gold ribbon around it. Then the sticks were simply added to the jar.

Every day Eli will pull one stick, and we will carry out the corresponding activity as a family.


Some of the activities for our Advent Calendar


Eli picks a stick on the evening before the activity so that we will have the next day to prepare and plan. For example: If he picks “Bake a birthday cake for Jesus.”, I can plan to pick up any needed ingredients on the way home from work. Pick the evening before also gives us all something to look forward to for the next day.



  1. Share the Christmas story.
  2. Donate canned food.
  3. Have sprinkle pancakes for dinner.
  4. Make reindeer food.
  5. Play a board game.
  6. Write a letter to Santa.
  7. Donate toys.
  8. Look at Christmas lights.
  9. Create a Christmas book.
  10. Bake a birthday cake for Jesus.
  11. Shop for Toys for Tots.
  12. Make a hand-print ornament.
  13. Buy an ornament.
  14. Bake cookies.
  15. Have a “snowball” fight (out of rolled up socks).
  16. Play “wise men seek”.
  17. Build a snowman out of Play-Doh.
  18. Shop for someone else.
  19. Write Christmas gratitudes.
  20. Watch a Christmas movie.
  21. Read a new holiday book.
  22. Do a Christmas puzzle.
  23. Wrap presents.
  24. Have a Christmas Carol dance party.
  25. Take Holiday pictures in front of the tree.

What holiday activities will your family be doing this year? 


6 thoughts on “DIY Advent in 30 minutes for $5

  1. Creative, easy and frugal idea to do with little ones. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We’ve been thinking about a new tradition to start. I am going to steal this one. Thanks!

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