I grew up using a wonderful handmade felt advent calendar that one of my aunts made for us. Each day you got to snap a new ornament on a little felt tree hanging on the wall. My sister and I used to race to hang up the ornament each day. (Mom, did you like how I substituted ‘race to’ for ‘argue over’ in that sentence?) That advent calendar is about 30 years old and I am proud to say it is still in use!
With kids of my own now, I wanted to start our own little family tradition of sorts. I wasn’t interested in having to purchase 25 mini gifts or give my kids 25 days of candy. I wanted to capitalize on the memory making moments many people experience during the holidays.
So, I created the Advent Activity Calendar! Each stocking holds a slip of cardstock with a new and fun activity to complete each day. Easy, fast and almost all of them are FREE. They are probably things you already do at Christmastime. Examples?
Sip hot chocolate.
Perform a random act of kindness for someone.
Read aloud the story of the birth of Jesus.
Listen to a CD of favorite Christmas songs. Sing along with gusto! (any other fans of John Denver and the Muppets, A Christmas Together??)
Hop in the car and take a tour of area Christmas light displays. Award a family favorite! (this is one we love at our house!)
There are a handful of blank slips to customize it for your family, for a total of 32 activity options. You know, just in case “Make a snowman” isn’t an option for you in Arizona! After completing each day, simply store the slips in the handy pocket/label on the back.
And, I might add that the pre-printed slips come with the pattern! Just cut apart the postcards inside the pattern and pop them in the stockings. How much easier can it get!? The pattern also comes with two font options, already at full size and mirror imaged for you to get going easily.
Alex always chooses fantastic fabric combinations, so I was especially excited to see what she would use. And did she ever come through! It’s non-traditional and I adore it!
And check out what she used for the ribbon. Twill measuring tape!
Caitlin used a great blanket stitch to sew down her stockings. She also had a great suggestion for using an extra stocking on the back as the pocket/label. So clever!
I am so excited about using this advent calendar with my two kids next winter. I know they will love the activities (and I will love knowing that they are easy to do!). And, as any person who sews gifts fast and furiously at Christmas knows, I am positively giddy that I have this DONE well in advance. I feel like there should be a bonus point I award myself or something. Typically, I’d be starting this November 30th! (I know I am not alone, either!)
Should you decide to make some advent activity memories of your own, you can find the pattern at many of the stores listed on my Patterns page, under “Where to Buy.” If you are looking for an online source, Pink Chalk Fabrics carries my whole line. If you start before November 30th, I’ll give you a bonus point!
Your turn! Do you have special way to count down the days to Christmas at your house? Did you have one growing up? Tell me all about it. I love hearing different family traditions for this sort of thing!