The best Catholic Advent calendars for 2021

Francesca Pollio   By Francesca Pollio for CNA


Advent calendar / Elena Mozhvilo/Unsplash

Denver Newsroom, Nov 17, 2021 / 16:02 pm (CNA).

Advent is a time of preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. And while it’s easy to get distracted by the craziness leading up to this special day, the Advent season is the perfect time to bring your family together and spend time learning about and celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

Here’s a list of our favorite Advent calendars to bring the Nativity story to your family, and hopefully create cherished memories and long-lasting traditions.

Perfect for kids

This Advent calendar is a great way to get your kids interacting with the story of Jesus’ birth. This Nativity day-by-day advent calendar includes paper pop-ups to teach the story of Jesus’ birth in a hands-on way. For each day, there is a brief explanation of the Nativity story that is easy to read and understandable for young children.

“Advent Calendar: Nativity” on

This color-your-own Advent calendar from the Catholic Company encourages children to use their creativity as they learn the Nativity story. It teaches children the story of Jesus’ birth as they color different sections of the Nativity scene each day leading up to Christmas.

“Color Your Own Advent Calendar” on

Something the whole family will love

Countdown to Christmas with this Advent calendar depicting the manger scene. Each day, open the corresponding window to reveal a special image and Bible verse that retells part of the Nativity story. Get the whole family involved by rotating who gets to read each day.

“Manger Scene – Freestanding Advent Calendar” on

For families with newborns or babies, the Itty Bittys Countdown Calendar to Jesus’ Birthday from the EWTN Religious Catalogue is a great option. It features a plush baby Jesus that is moved from pocket to pocket each day and then is placed in the manger on Dec. 25. It’s a great way to start getting your little one familiar with Advent and the Nativity story.

“Itty Bittys Countdown Calendar to Jesus’ Birthday” on

Do it yourself

If you’re looking for a DIY Advent calendar, here’s an idea for one you can make using only envelopes, paper and a pen. Start by drawing numbers on each envelope and place them, in numerical order, throughout your home. For example, you can pin them to a bulletin board, or clip them to long pieces of twine that can be hung on the wall. Then take smaller pieces of paper and write Bible verses that retell the story of Jesus’ birth and place them in each envelope. You can also write ideas for kind gestures you and your kids can do for a family member, such as “Do a chore you don’t usually do” or “Compliment someone today.”

Prayerful; for grown-ups

During Advent, Christians are invited to enter into prayer, reflection, and Scripture. Ascension’s Rejoice! Advent Meditations with Mary Journal will guide you through the season of Advent. Walk with Mary each day through meditations that offer insight into the life of the Blessed Mother, and invite you to encounter her more deeply. Father Mark Toups provides writings to help you through your prayer. These include a word to focus on each day, a reflection, a Psalm, a reading and a prompt.

Rejoice! Advent Meditations with Mary Journal” on

Don’t let the busyness of the holiday season distract you from its true meaning— preparing for the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Invite the joy of Advent into your homes and families, and remember it’s not about the presents, but His presence.

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