For anyone who can't wait for Christmas, an Advent calendar is a fun tradition that helps mark the days. Make your own Advent calendar template and you can replace your calendar annually. While this project can be done with kids, it might be more fun to make the calendar yourself and then ask them to help you open the doors later.
Determine the number of days you will use. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, so it can have as few as 22 days (if Christmas falls on a Monday) or as many as 28 (if Christmas is on a Sunday). Start with 28 days in your template and leave some out of your calendar that year if necessary. Secular "Advent" calendars often start on December 1 and continue until December 24, regardless of when Advent actually begins, so you can make a template with 24 days if you prefer.
Draw 24 or 28 small squares on a large piece of paper or light cardboard, and cut them out. Write a number next to each square.
Decorate a large piece of paper or light cardboard with Christmas themes.
Place the paper or cardboard facedown on a work surface, and place the calendar template face-up on the paper. Trace the appropriate number of squares for the year on the paper.
Use a craft knife to carefully cut around three sides of each square, making a small door.
Lay out another large piece of paper or light cardboard. Place the template facedown on this piece, and trace the same squares you traced on the first paper.
Write Bible verses or Christmas messages inside these squares.
Spread glue on this paper, avoiding the squares. Carefully align the paper with doors over this one, press flat, and allow to dry.
Open one door on every day of Advent, and read the message.