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DIY Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas

Christmas time is here! You may be looking to create some fun, new family traditions. How about an advent calendar? Don’t worry- you won’t need to spend a lot of money or worry about consumer debt. Here are a few DIY Christmas advent calendar ideas to bring the joy of the holiday all month long.

ACCC hopes you enjoy a DIY Christmas advent calendar!

ACCC hopes you enjoy a DIY Christmas advent calendar!

Cheap DIY Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas

So what is an advent calendar?

Basically, an advent calendar counts down the days until Christmas. The calendar typically reveals something special behind each day- like a piece of candy. Sometimes it’s simply a funny illustration. Additionally, it could be an activity the family does together or suggests making a donation or volunteering.

Pinterest DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

This pin from A Hundred Affections is a great catalogue of ideas for advent calendars.

unique advent ideas

Financial Ideas for the Advent Calendar

If you want to accomplish a financial goal and teach your kids about money, an advent calendar could be a great resource. It can also demonstrate a SMART goal. It has a set amount of time, plus a nice visual.

Consider these financial ideas for your calendar:

  • Create a savings plan with a small amount of money for each day. The amount could increase each day or be random. Make sure your can actually save the amounts you are writing down for the calendar.
  • Make some of the days an opportunity to donate money to good causes and non-profits. It doesn’t have to be everyday! Maybe you can choose a new organization once a week. This extra giving could be a great lesson to instill in a season of consumerism. You can decide the different donations as a family and be surprised when they pop up.
  • Use this moment to teach debt management. Choose a debt to eliminate by the end of the month or make a significant dent in the debt. Again, make sure you are being smart and reasonable with your goal. Push yourself, but be realistic.
  • Teach counting and currency denominations for younger kids. Start with a penny and move up from there.
    • Penny
    • Nickel
    • Dime
    • Quarter
    • Half Dollar
    • Dollar Coin
    • One Dollar Bill
    • 2 Dollar Bill
    • 5 Dollar Bill
    • 10 Dollar Bill
    • 20 Dollar Bill
    • 50 Dollar Bill
    • 100 Dollar Bill
  • You can use play money or a drawing of each denomination. Hide the amount in the pockets. As each amount is found, have your kids match it to the play money. Perhaps reward them with a treat for the right answer! The rest of the days can be fun- like treats or little gifts.

Constructing Your Calendar

Finally, creating your calendar can be a simple as a poster board and crayons. It can be in the shape of a Christmas tree, house or reflect a normal calendar style. If you are crafty, search through your supplies so you don’t spend any more money to create it. Think about cardboard boxes, junk drawer items, etc. before buying supplies.

Hopefully, you will find some inspiration from these DIY Christmas advent calendar ideas to start a new family tradition! If you’re struggling with debt, ACCC can help. Sign up for a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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