DIY advent calendar: Nativity scene


It is a dear tradition in our family to get the kids an advent calendar. Now, for this year I wanted to make something myself rather than buy a run-off-the-mill calendar. And of course, being an advent calendar, it should be related to the story of Christmas.

Voila, enter the DIY nativity scene advent calendar:

The calendar consists of 24 match boxes, each covered with a cut-out figure. Here is the complete tableau:

The match boxes themselves contain candy (in small quantities – I’m all for keeping materialism to reasonable limits, especially around Christmas).

Now, you may wonder why the boxes aren’t numbered, just like they should be for an advent calendar. You can of course do that, but for this year I will do it differently for my kids: Each day, they get one of the boxes (the ones shown, plus enough additional sheep and shepherds to get the 24 complete).

In this way, the nativity scene is gradually revealed, until on Christmas, it will be complete. Which in my mind is much nicer than just having it sitting in the living room long before Christmas.

If you want to make this yourself, the good news is that it’s extremely straightforward: Just print the PDF template (see below) on sturdy cardboard, cut it out, and glue it to (empty) match boxes. The template is for boxes that are roughly 35 x 50 mm in size. Fill the boxes with sweets, and you are good to go.

Upon request, I have made another template for the three wisemen:

And an angel:


Here is the 2-page PDF.

And if you prefer the template in PNG format, here it is.

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