Holiday Spirit: Inspiration For Creating Your Own Advent Calendars
It seems that as soon as we put away our last Thanksgiving dish, we start counting down the days until Christmas. If kids had it their way, they'd start counting down the days until Christmas starting the day after their birthdays. But the traditional Advent calendar gives a much smaller, reasonable amount of time to work with to make the countdown fun. Advent calendars are also easy to make yourself if you have the right ideas. Here's a little bit of inspiration for creating your own.
Keep It Simple
If you're pressed for time or you're not that crafty but are dying to try, you can create a simple Advent calendar using brown paper bags, clothespins, and twine. Have the kids use markers and crayons to draw on the numbers for each day, then fill them with small and simple or sweet surprises, like the kind you might use as baby shower favors. Then, all you have to do is find a place to hang your twine -- one strand or several to make layers -- fold over the top of the bag and fasten them to the twine with clothespins.
Fly Your Festive Flag
Creating an Advent calendar out of bunting is one of the more fun and decorative ways to count the days. The only problem is, there are almost too many ways you can do it! Use miniature felt stockings to hold your trinkets and string them together with colorful baker's twine, or use canvas sachet bags from the craft store to hold holiday baubles. Use markers, a rubber stamp, or puff paint to write the numbers of the days leading to Christmas. Hang the bunting above the mantel, along the bannister or on a blank wall to bring cheer to places in your living room that don't get much attention.
If you're a crafter, this is your chance to master the art of making tiny presents. Matchboxes are the perfect vessel for tiny presents for your Advent calendar. You can use holiday wrapping paper to dress up the outer box and fasten it to a cleverly decorated piece of poster board cut into the shape of a Christmas tree or wreath. If you have a nice empty frame, use that as your base. If you don't have a source for matchboxes, you can always make tiny origami boxes that don't require any glue to hold your Christmas curios.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
For a minimalist Advent calendar, try plain white envelopes pasted to a piece of plain white poster board. Use sleek numbered stickers to designate which envelope should be opened each day to find tiny trinkets. Hang the display against an empty wall or just prop it up on the buffet.
You can never have too many trees on Christmas! Especially if they bear gifts! Use a tiny tree as your Advent calendar. All you have to do is affix a ribbon to your tiny origami boxes and hang them on the branches or attach small envelopes with your Advent gifts using decorated clothespins. It's easy, cute and not a lot of explanation is needed.
What goes better on a refrigerator than refrigerator magnets? Magnets in the shape of an Advent calendar! Upcycle small candy tins (or even matchboxes) and paint them in holiday hues with numbers for each day leading up to Christmas. Then glue a small magnet to the backside of each so it sticks the fridge -- the fun part about these is that the tiny presents can be arranged in any shape you want! Form a wreath or a star -- as long as you number the tins, you'll know what to open each day.
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