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“Gifts for Jesus” Advent Calendar


And just like that, the calendar on my wall says “November” and taunts me with the reality that December is close on its heels.  So much has to happen in these few brief weeks of the year! My daughter has a birthday. Thanksgiving celebrations to cook for and attend.  And, of course, the preparations and parties that start filling up post-turkey days.

Like all the other  Jesus-loving mamas out there, I find myself with the same questions every year:  How do I help my kids understand the true meaning of all this holiday hoopla?  How do I keep them from succumbing to the tinsel-coated selfishness that so easily creeps in this time of year?

And, if I’m being honest, this question arises too:  How do I keep myself from getting sucked into the holiday vortex of busyness?

It’s so easy to get overtaken by holiday planning.  There are decorations to set up and family traditions to plan. People and presents and parties galore. So much blessing all around that we can easily lose sight of the One who gives them.

In the midst of all this activity, I want to keep my family’s heart centered on Jesus.  I want to find room in our busy schedule to remember  what we’re really celebrating–A God who decided to take on flesh and give himself a birthday, just like the rest of us.

That’s why I created a “Gifts for Jesus” advent calendar.  Each day gives us a challenge to offer a “gift” for Jesus--an act of kindness toward others that will bless God’s great heart.

Some of these tasks will be simple: Offering a hug, saying thank-you, letting others go first. And some will require a bit more legwork: Delivering groceries to a food pantry or writing a letter to a prisoner.  But as we work our way through the advent season, my prayer is that these “gifts for Jesus” will help our hearts stay connected to the real meaning of Christmas.

Would you like to join me in bringing these “gifts for Jesus” to your own family this year?  You can download the free, printable “Gifts for Jesus” Advent Calendar tags right here. I actually included 60 different tags, so you can pick and choose the activities that will work best for the age of your kids and your family schedule.

(And next year, you can pick a whole new set!)

These little cards can work with an advent calendar you already have at home. Or craft a calendar like the one I’ve pictured here. (See instructions below.) If you’re really short on time? Just print them off and toss them in a simple basket: It’s not really about the “pretty calendar” anyway, is it?

However you choose to use them, I hope these advent cards will help you and your family focus on the deeper realities beneath all the Christmas glitter. 

Merry Christmas, friends.  Now go–give baby Jesus a reason to smile today!

DOWNLOAD TAGS HERE (click on blue box below)
DOWNLOAD NUMBER CIRCLES HERE (click on blue box below

(Downloads are only available to More Like Grace subscribers: By clicking the download button below, you consent to OPT-IN to our email newsletter with monthly encouragement and freebie news. Unsubscribe any time.)

How to Make the Advent Calendar

Supplies Needed:Free Printable Advent Calendar

  • “Advent Calendar Numbers” printed on cardstock (see download below)
  • “Gifts for Jesus Tags” downloaded and printed to cardstock (There are 60 tags: Pick the 24 that work best for you! See download above.)
  • 18×24 poster frame
  • large sheet of white matte paper or poster board
  • small kraft paper envelopes (Mine were 2.5″ x 4″ and I trimmed the tops slightly for a better fit)
  • red gingham ribbon
  • small 1″ clothespins
  • faux floral stems with small holly leaves and berries  (or holly stickers) *
  • glue stick
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors and tape

*I found my floral stems at a local craft shop, but there’s something similar here.  Other options are to try small holly stickers or embellishments for a big time-saver. Or christmas buttons glued to the clothespins would be adorable!


(Downloads are only available to More Like Grace subscribers: By clicking the download button below, you consent to OPT-IN to our email newsletter with monthly encouragement and freebie news. Unsubscribe any time.)

How to Make:

Step 1: Remove the clear plastic “glass” from the front of the poster frame.  Discard.

Step 2: Set the backing of your frame flat on your work surface. Glue the large sheet of white paper to this backing, using a glue stick.


Step 3:   Trim the edges of the paper after gluing, if necessary.





Step 4: Cut five lengths of ribbon to about 22″ long each.

Step 5:  Using a pencil and ruler, place small marks along the edge of your paper on both sides. Measuring from the bottom, I put my first mark at about 4.25.” Then the rest of my marks were 4″ apart each.  (I left a larger margin at bottom to account of the frame.)

Step 6:  Using your pencil marks as a guide, place one end of each ribbon around the edge and tape to the back side of your poster backing.

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Step 7: Now tape the other side of your ribbon to the backing of the frame, but this time, place a pencil underneath the ribbon before you tape.  This will leave a little bit of slack in your ribbon so you get a slight arched effect when you hand the advent envelopes.

Step 8:  Put the finished backing back inside your poster frame.

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Step 9:  Cut out the “Advent Calendar Numbers” and “Gifts for Jesus Advent Tags” from the cardstock/paper.

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Step 10: Glue each number to the front of a small envelopes, creating 24 numbered envelopes.

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Step 11: Place your “Gifts for Jesus” tags inside the envelopes.  You can coordinate activities with certain days to fit your family schedule.

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Step 12:  Remove small holly leaves and berries from your floral stems.

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Step 13:  Hot glue the leaves and berries to the front of your clothespins.

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Step 14:  Attach envelopes to the ribbon using your newly decorated clothespins. And that’s it. You’re all set for a great Advent season with your family!

Free Printable Advent Calendar


Did you give this craft a try?  Add your own unique spin to the idea? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! 


Comments (12)

  1. […] recently came across this fun idea of “Gifts for Jesus.“ Blogger Amy Tol has created 60 different cards that are free to print out, which you can then pick from to create your own family Advent Calendar […]

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    What size are the date circles? I’d like to use a paper crafting punch but need to know the size before I purchase

    Jessica Zumstein
    Sep 4, 2019 Reply
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      Hey Jessica, the circles are 1.75.” There is enough room between each circle on the sheet that you could use a 2″ punch (you’d just have a small white border around each). Or if you wanted to use a 1.5″ punch, you could select 85% as the printing size and you’ll end up with 1.5″ circles. Hope that gives you some helpful options!

      Sep 4, 2019 Reply
  3. Avatar

    Nothing opens when I try to click the link, could you tell me how I can get the 60 tags please? Great idea btw

    Would you like to join me in bringing these “gifts for Jesus” to your own family this year? You can download the free, printable “Gifts for Jesus” Advent Calendar tags right here. I actually included 60 different tags, so you can pick and choose the activities that will work best for the age of your kids and your family schedule.

    Debra Karl
    Nov 8, 2019 Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Debra, I just double-checked all the links and they appear to be working fine, so you might want to give it another try. (A little box should pop up for your name/email, and once you fill that out, the download begins.) I hope this helps, and if not, let me know and I can send them to you via email. Have a great day!

      Nov 8, 2019 Reply
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    Do you have links to where you purchased the envelopes? I am having a hard time find the right size.TIA

    Nov 20, 2019 Reply
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      I purchased my envelopes in-store at Hobby Lobby and I can’t seem to find the link for the exact size on their site. But here’s a link for some on Amazon that I think would work just as well. (They’re actually a little shorter, which would work well: I had to cut my envelopes down to make them fit.) Here’s the link: https://amzn.to/2KIfdnI

      Nov 20, 2019 Reply
  5. Avatar

    I found this several weeks ago and LOVED the idea! Thank you for the free download! This is my spin on it: I used a piece of 18×24 foam core board, taped the ribbon in place, then enclosed the edges with black duct tape. I used numbered dimensional stickers, which I adhered to tags cut with a gift tag punch instead of small envelopes. I also cut out the activities with the same punch. I stacked the numbered tag over the activity tag and clipped it to the ribbon. I printed out a few different activities that I cut and glued over some of the activity tags (a page of activity tags that are blank in the activity area would be a nice addition to your download). Each day’s activities are clipped to the ribbon in descending date order so that my grandkids can see how many days until Christmas. As we finish each day’s activity, I’ll replace the activity and date tags with a pretty gift tag, which the kids can use much later in the month when they’re wrapping gifts (one of our activities). I’m looking forward to a fun time with my grandkids while focusing on blessing others.

    Nov 30, 2019 Reply
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    I can’t wait to go through the advent season with my daughters, using your tags. Thank you for the sweet gift! God Bless you!

    Dec 2, 2019 Reply
  7. […] has 3 different cards with a little different focus; 25 names of Jesus, the Christmas Story, and 25 acts of kindness. I found these printables on […]

  8. Avatar

    Beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing! So appreciative of this! Having an early start of the Christmas spirit this year (cuz, why not?) Don’t want to rush setting up.

    Nov 10, 2020 Reply
  9. Avatar

    I am so excited! This will be the second year we will be doing this one! I am even putting together some for my cousin’s family and my sister’s family! I started the advent last year with my kids (5, 3 and 1) by reading the book God Gave Us Christmas just to open the converstaion about what Christmas is about. One of the BIGGEST things we got out of this was, it facilitated conversations at dinner that was God centered. The kids asked questions and we would explore the answers. The kids loved it so much that for most of 2020 we developed “family worship” time at dinner. We read a bible story, sing and talk about the story. They are getting excited to do the advent again this year. Thanks for this amazing resource!

    Nov 14, 2020 Reply

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