Well just like most of the country, bitter cold weather has arrived, brrr. We did get several inches of snow last night which was so pretty to wake up to though. It always feels more like Christmas with a little white stuff on the ground.
Do you do Advent calendars?
I didn't as a kid but my husband did and talked about how fun it was. So we started doing an Advent Calendar with our kids about 5 years ago. We only had two kids with one on the way. But as the kids have gotten older I find the Advent calendar is a source of stress for me. It is hard to find small things that fit in the pockets and the cost really adds up with 3 little ones. So last year I started something new. The pockets are now filled with holiday activities (most of which we were already doing anyway) and a few treats and gifts. It was so much nicer last year and we had less little trinkets of junk by the end of it. I love it now and the kids still really enjoy digging into the pocket to find their treasure.
Each day is filled with either a small piece of candy or maybe a small gift like football cards, pony tail holders, bracelets or small lego kits. And the other half or so are filled with cards that list an activity. I printed activities on card stock and reuse them each year. Some we use more than once, like family movie night is used most Fridays or Saturdays. And sometimes there isn't snow before Christmas so sledding doesn't make it in.
At the end of November I write out a master list for the month noting what treat or activity will happen on which day. That way it is done and I can fill the pockets and refer to the list if I need to. There are always some activities that need to be done on the weekends because they are a craft or baking cookies or might make for a later night like movie night. Then I can make sure to schedule everything. The best part is we were already doing most of these activities so it hasn't added to the busyness I have just scheduled then now.
As for the Advent calendar itself, I did make it. It was 5 years ago and it has held up really well. I saw one like it in the pottery barn catalog(I think they still have them) and thought "I can make that". It is all made out of craft felt, thread and a few beads.
The pockets were really fun and time consuming to make. I found templates online and tried to look for things that had meaning to us. My son has a blue puppy he sleeps with that looks a lot like the one below. There are three stocking for the 3 kids.
I could not have finished this project with out my Mom though. She really helped with the shape of the tree and she sewed all the pockets on as well as the embroidered the numbers, snowflakes and our name at the bottom. This tree is so special to me. And every year it is fun to bring out, and every year the kids pick their favorite pockets.
Some of the pockets have gotten a little stretched out from eager little hands but after 5 years it is doing pretty good.
Do you celebrate advent with your family? Did you as a kid or is it a new tradition with your family?
As always please let me know if you have any questions and have a wonderful day!
Linked up at: Cherished Bliss, Lamberts Lately, A Glimpse Inside, Someday Crafts, Imparting Grace, Liz Marie Blog, One Project Closer, The Shabby Nest, Urbane Jane, Tatertots and Jello, The 36th Avenue, Yesterday on Tuesday