Here's our 2013 advent calendar. It's actually an advent bowl this year. I really like origami 'lucky stars' and wanted to find a way to use them for Christmas. After some experimenting, I decided the best way to display them, was simply to put them in a glass bowl. The kids dig through the bowl each morning to find the correct lucky star and open it up to see what we're doing that particular day.
For each star I cut a strip of kraft paper 22" x 1.5", which resulted in stars about 2" in diameter.
Lucky stars are easy to fold, you can find a good tutorial here.
Before completing the stars, I wrote out the advent gift/activity on the inside. For gifts which obviously won't fit inside, I just wrote a clue as to what it may be and hid the actual gift in the house, the kids have to play "hot or cold" to find them.
The items for this year's advent calendar are similar to last year's, and include a lot of family activities. A few of them include:
+ Christmas Movies
+ Paying for the coffee of customer behind us
+ Leaving gas cards taped to pumps at the station
+ Buying food for a Christmas dinner and giving it to the food shelf
+ Bringing cookies to neighbors, fire station, and sheriff's office
+ Gingerbread houses
+ Donating toys to Toys for Tots
+ Leaving surprise gifts for little ones at the local library
+ Making snowflakes
+ Christmas lights display
Wishing you and yours and wonderful advent season.