Our Christmas Advent Tradition

One of the ways our family focuses on the meaning of Christmas (not just the gifts) is to celebrate Advent, taking time in the days leading up to the 25th to remember why we celebrate this day.

It also has become a meaningful tradition and fun decoration for us as well, and hardly cost anything more than my time to make.

During the Christmas season of 1991 I was pregnant with our son and knew we wanted an Advent tradition for our new family. I looked in catalogs (I know, the dark ages before the Internet) and found one that used stockings numbered for each day.

The cost was of course out of our realm, so I decided to make them.

I still can’t believe I sewed 25 of these little stockings. It was definitely a labor of love with my little boy growing inside me, making me all “nesty” (sorry…I don’t think that’s even a word).

Well, anyway, they aren’t fine, just little things sewn up and edged with lace. I found some felt numbers at the office store and hot-glued them on. Amazingly, not one has fallen off since.

Our children alternate who picks that day’s stocking, and they pull the numbered stocking out of a basket.

Inside they find a little ornament and a paper with a Bible verse. I found a list of verses for each day of advent in a magazine (no problem finding something similar now with the Internet…man, am I starting to feel old!), and wrote them on cardstock that I cut out with decorative scissors.

They hang the ornament on a little tree we call our “Advent Tree” and the stocking on a cord I’ve hung in the window. The cord has also hung around a table and from a mantle in our other house.

Then we read the verse and talk about what it means and how it relates to Jesus. And it’s been the one thing we can count on to help us not loose focus on what Christmas is about amidst all the hubbub that surrounds us.

If this is something that appeals to you but you don’t sew, I’ve seen in a recent magazine (December Country Living?) someone who used little bags clipped onto a cord across a window with clothespins. They were very cute. I think she used those really small gift bags you can buy, but white lunch bags stamped with numbers would look good, too.

I must say that having a special tradition that the kids remember and look forward to each year has been very meaningful for our family.

I highly recommend it.






  1. says

    Wow, this is a great idea! Where did you find the ornaments for the stockings, and are they themed to the Bible verse? I have an almost 2-year-old daughter and a baby on the way, and I would love to start a tradition like this to help keep our focus on Christ at Christmas.

  2. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Dominica- I’ve just tried to find ornaments that would fit the stockings! I found two sets of miniature ornaments- one is Noah’s ark and the other is the Christmas story. I always make sure the last days are Mary, Joseph, the Angel and then Christmas is Baby Jesus. Other than that, I don’t keep track of the ornaments. And my kids LOVED this when they were little (*sniff*). :-)

  3. says

    Boy religious themed mini ornaments are pretty hard to find nowadays. Most of them are snowmen and santa. I did find one set of nativity mini ornaments and I found some snowman angels with sayings like “peace” and “joy” so those may have to do. The other option I’ve found is a fabric nativity advent calendar with puffy fabric pieces that you velcro on to create your own scene, but I like your idea better.

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