Happy December! Today marks the first day of Advent for many American families. Last year I enjoyed making this Advent Calendar for Big L and little l so much, I decided to make one for my little guys. Inspired by the popular matchbox variety, I began seeking out the right materials, completely free and recycled, that would come together to help us count down the days.
The design materialized on a routine trip to Target. I spotted one of their signature red jewelry gift boxes and asked the very nice saleslady if they had boxes to spare. It just so happened that they did--quite a few of them! I scored 24 bright red boxes, absolutely free.
Then, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I took all of the advertising circulars out of our newspaper and began clipping away, ransom-note style. My design prerequisites were that the numbers be sans serif, and comprised of only red, green and white. I found several different versions of each number, 1 through 24. I used good ol' Mod Podge to affix the numbers onto the jewelry boxes.
I then filled each box with an Advent activity. The activities are easy breezy; the intention is not for this to feel like work, but rather to provide a sweet surprise and something to look forward to each day. I cut squares from last year's Christmas cards and wrote the day's activity on the backs of them.1 : Get out Christmas decorations & make Christmas Potpourri
2 : Make paper snowflakes
3 : Write a letter to Santa
4 : Popcorn & cranberries and watch Charlie Brown Christmas
5 : Go to the Christmas parade
6 : Buy egg nog and decorate our Christmas tree
7 : Write a winter poem
8 : Make a wreath for the front door
9 : Christmas past: Look at old photos of family Christmases
10 : Take pictures of each other wearing Santa hat
11 : Watch Christmas movies with hot cocoa
12 : Make Christmas cards
13 : Bring baked gifts to neighbors
14 : Hang a paper chain sash for Christmas cards
15 : Ornament making day one: Gifts for teachers
16 : Ornament making day two: Gifts for grandparents and aunts
17 : Have a Christmas cookie party (save some for Santa!)
18 : Make snowmen
19 : Go on a Santa Claus hunt
20 : Make wrapping paper
21 : Make Solstice crowns
22 : Give a gift to charity / donate canned goods to food bank
23 : Go Christmas caroling and light luminaries
24 : Look at Christmas lights in our pajamas
After all of the boxes were filled, I took an old cork board that was deteriorating and removed its cork. The pretty white frame was still in very good shape, as was the foam backing. I simply slipped in a square of scrap green courdoroy where the cork had been, and glued the backs of the24 boxes onto the courdoroy.Voila. As each day approaches I'll try to find a little trinket to go with the day's activity. Today's activity: Get out the Christmas decorations and make Mimi's Christmas Potpourri. I put a cinnamon stick in the box for Big B and little b to find. Happy Advent!