Thanksgiving Advent Ideas GALORE!

So are you ready to celebrate the 12 days of Thanksgiving??? (never heard of it you ask, well I just made it up ha ha ha ha)…. Go make an Advent Calendar– to find out how, hop on over here for directions to make it!! 

Here are some ideas that I hope will peak your interest! 

Make 12 Quilted Shapes! 
I made a Turkey and a Pumpkin with some left over charm pieces. You will have PLENTY to make 12 things to fit in all the pockets if you want!  I just “drew” the Turkey but if you are interested let me know by leaving a comment and I can put up the directions/pattern here.

It would be easy to think of 12 little “things” to make for your pockets.. you could make, leaves, pumpkins, pilgrim hats, turkeys,  boats… the list goes on- look for online coloring pages for shapes to use.

Link to the Turkey Applique Pattern can be found here

Fill the pockets with 12 facts about Thanksgiving: just go to Wikipedia, you’ll find out more than you ever thought you’d want to know about Thanksgiving!

What about a “Quote a Day” about Gratitude? Here are 12 I found online.

Gratitude Quotes

1. God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you?”  ~William A. War

2. The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.  ~H.U. Westermayer

3.  Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.  ~G.B. Stern

4. There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed.  If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.  ~Robert Braul

5. For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

6. If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.  ~Frank A. Clark

7. He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  ~Epictetus

8. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.  ~W.T. Purkiser

9. Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.  ~William Faulkner

10.  As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

11.  We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  ~Cynthia Ozick

12. Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.  ~Author Unknown

What about a Thanksgiving Craft A Day?  Your kids will love pulling it out of the pocket to see what they get to do that day! You could use a combo of “pre made” bought crafts (like fun foam stuff) and some home made ones… Here are some links to some fun ones to try…

12 Thanksgiving Crafts

2. Thanksgiving’s getting close, let’s make a centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table!
3. Let’s get our fingers dirty and make place cards for Thanksgiving Dinner.
4. Color a Picture to hang on our wall.
5. Make “crackers” to have at Thanksgiving Dinner.
6. Don’t be fooled!  Let’s turn an Oreo into a Turkey!
7. Let’s make Bingo cards to keep our guests entertained on Thanksgiving day! 
9. Go on a nature hike and gather fall leaves!
10. Read a story about Thanksgiving 
11. Build your own Mayflower!
12. Why not dress up to fit the part on Thanksgiving day? 

There is always Good Ole’ Candy? I mean who doesn’t love that!

Some other ideas! 

12 Autumn Recipes (would be a good one if you don’t have little kids at home)
12 Conversation Starters for Thanksgiving Dinner
Go ahead and “rewrite” 12 Days of Christmas … to 12 Days of Thanksgiving…
“On the first day of Thanksgiving, my true love gave to me, a Turkey on a silver tray”…
“two pilgrims hats”
“three french fries” (okay so that might not work, but you get the idea!)
12 silly “jokes” about Thanksgiving… you know “why did the Turkey cross the road?”

A gratitude “project” a day for your family...
1- Today write a letter letting your teachers know how much you appreciate them.
2- Don’t take things for granted, find something today that you can give to someone who needs it more than you.
3-Today, find a way to serve your neighbor.
4-Do something nice, and totally unexpected for another member of your family
5-Write a sincere letter to someone who has had a profound influence in your life.
6- Say “thank you” at least 10 times today.
7- Write 5 Thank You notes today, and MAIL THEM (email does NOT count!)
8- Bake a special treat for someone in your life who you truly appreciate.
9- For one week, in your prayers, only thank God for the blessings in your life, don’t ask for anything.
10- Give someone a HUG!
11- Do a chore today without being asked.
12- Call your parents and tell them how grateful you are for everything they have ever done for you.

Also check out:
Angela @ A Bushel and a Peck listed out activities for the calendar she made last year.

So let me know! What do you think?  If you have done something like this before post a link, I’d love to repost them here to share with everyone!

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Melissa Mortenson is the author of the Polka Dot Chair blog which is in its 7th year of sharing fresh and creative ideas with readers. She is the author of “Project Teen, Handmade Gifts your Teen will Actually Love”. Her first fabric line “Derby Style” debuted in January 2015 through Riley Blake Designs. A mom of 3, she considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky.


  1. says

    Oh, this is ingenious!!! I absolutely love the calendar and all of your ideas. The turkey is too stinkin’ cute. :) Thanks so much for sharing this. Now I have to make one. Oooo, just think…a Halloween one or even a birthday one. LOL!

  2. says

    Ok I just love these ideas, especially the gratitude ones as well as the crafts, what is Thansgiving, what thankful for. I guess i just love them all. I would love for yopu to post your pattern for the pumpkin and turkey. THANK YOU for all you do

  3. says

    This is awesome and much better than trying to fill all 30 days! I love the colors and your little quilited turkey. So cute and all your ideas should be enough to fill that calendar up with something different each year just based on what stage your children are in. I just love it.

  4. says

    I love it! You are so talented to be able to make this up. The colors, turkey, and ways to use the pockets are perfect.

    I love all your ideas and projects. You really are so talented (and a hard worker too, because talent often takes years of practice!)

    Wishing I could have gone to St. James with you. I LOVE that place and I was one of the crazy ones last year and brought the girls (in a stroller). Thank heavens they were so good!

    Miss you!

  5. says

    This is a fantastic post. I don’t think I have ever seen a thanksgiving advent calendar. The number of ideas you have listed and the gratitude quotes are just wonderful. Thank you!

  6. Joni says

    Hello! I’ve been reading your web site for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!


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