Jar of Advent-ures

Has your family ever had an Advent calendar? You know, the ones with flaps you open every day of Advent to get the special treats inside? This Advent jar is like an Advent calendar, but better! Making an Advent jar is one of Rachel’s favorite Christmas activities. Each year she decorates a jar. Her mom writes down 24 Christmas activities on slips of paper, folds them and puts them in the jar. Each day of Advent, Rachel shakes the jar, closes her eyes and picks one slip of paper. Then her family enjoys the activity written on the piece of paper!

You can join in the fun by creating your own Advent jar this Christmas season!

What does "Advent" mean?

Advent is the special season leading up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.


• large jar (check a secondhand store if you don’t have one at home)
• Advent jar activities list (Download it here)

Jar decoration ideas

• ribbon
• paint (acrylic paint works best on jars)
• buttons
• googly eyes
• jingle bells
• glitter
• glue
• construction paper
• stickers


1. Adult help needed. Find a jar, clean it and let it dry. 

2. Gather your decoration materials. Lay down a newspaper to keep your table clean as you work. Decorate the jar however you’d like! If you need help thinking of ideas, check out the examples below.

3. Ask an adult to print out the 24 Advent activities. Then the adult will need to cut out each activity into strips, fold or roll the strips and place them in the jar. The activities are super secret — so don’t peek! 

4. Let the Advent fun begin! On each day of Advent (Dec. 1-24 for 2019), close your eyes and pick a slip of paper from the jar. Do the activity on the paper with your friends or family! On Dec. 25, you can help an adult put a tealight candle in the empty jar to remember that Jesus is the light of the world!

Printable: Advent Activities Download Print

What else can you create with a jar? How about a candle, a recipe kit or a snow globe? Go to explorer.compassion.com/jar for directions!