The Advent calendar was something I really wanted to make last year for my family, but just didn’t have the time. This year I’ve vowed to do as many of the projects as I can from my “When I have time” list. Making this calendar became a priority when my four-year-old exclaimed how excited she was to be getting presents from Santa on Christmas. I know this is completely normal, but a part of me just sank. Santa is not the reason to be joyous at Christmas. Nice, but not a priority. So I needed a way to include all of our family traditions into the month’s preparations and now I wanted a way to help us all remember the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, you can purchase many calendars like this with boxes or holes for placing treats. But why buy what you can make? To make the calendar board I used the following:
- Foam board
- Silver wrapping paper
- Spray adhesive
- Black card stock (I used chalkboard paper)
- Holiday card stock
- Metallic card stock (4 x 5 inch size with 5 different colors in the package)
- Circle cutter
- Paper cutter
- Glue stick
- Silver Sharpie
- Holiday ribbon
- Double-sided photo tape
As I played with the layout it because a scrapbook-type project. Cutting out the Christmas Countdown numbers on three different colored papers and attaching the pockets via double-sided tape were the most time consuming parts. Then one layer got pasted on top for the next. I used the spray adhesive on the board to attach the wrapping paper. This gave me a clean, flat finish. The cut-out circles became ornaments with the silver Sharpie for nice final detail.
The next challenge was coming up with a list of Advent-worthy activities. I wanted things that we could do as a family and that a preschooler could fully participate in. The problem was there was no one list that I loved. True to my usual form, I used several to make our list.
There were a few nice calendars on Loyola Press, but they seem more individualized then family-based, and better suited to older kids. The other one I really liked was from Coffee Cups and Crayons, where Megan Sheakoski used wonderful Random Acts of Kindness on her calendar. My final list includes activities from around town, favorite books, and a few movies. Now that the calender is hanging up, I’m not sure who is more excited about starting: my husband and myself or the kids.