01 December 2009

Let the Countdown to Christmas Begin!

I love counting down the days until Christmas and have done advent calendars with my family ever since I was young. Now that I'm a mom, I love continuing the tradition with my own family.

I wanted to make homemade advent calendars this year, but the time seems to have escaped me and I was unable to complete the project before December 1st. But, I will try to have something for next year and I'll plan to work on it in the Spring. lol!

My most special calendar is one that my father made me. It's a wooden Santa holding two blocks that count down the days until Santa's arrival. It is pictured here with two wonderful wooden lanterns of a snowman and reindeer that he also made for us. I adore them!

As for the advent calendar, this year, my daughter picked out a toy-filled calendar.....something I didn't even know existed. I was used to the traditional paper calendars with Holiday scenes of some sort, or maybe the chocolate filled ones with the skinny little, crunchy chocolates. But, advent calendars are now quite fancy. I saw a $40 one at Fresh Market that was filled with German Chocolates and it was a HUGE calendar.

There are toy calendars from Lego, Barbie, My Little Pet Shop, Polly Pockets, PlayMobil and more. This year, my daughter chose the Polly Pocket's Calendar. There's a doll that is provided on Day 1 and then each day you open a window that reveals some sort of accessory for the doll. She'll love it.

My husband has a traditional chocolate filled one and the chocolates are in little drawers. You can choose 1 of 4 sides when you replace the drawer to create 4 different images by the end of the countdown. So, first there's the chocolate and then a puzzle for the little one to enjoy by Christmas.

I decided to look on Etsy for my advent calendar this year. There are so many wonderful handmade ones. I will show you a few of my favorites. (I went with the printed one shown above by OneGreenBee)

Gorgeous quilted calendar:
By WoodenCrateCrafts

Love the simplicity of these countdown bags by nuvonova.

Wonderful block calendar set into wooden house. Made from kids alphabet blocks. Created by ANewPatina

Wonderful block calendar by designs2cherish that tells you how many days are left until Santa's arrival.

And so much more! Click here to see more of the wonderful handmade advent calendars on etsy.

Just a few fun ways to count down the days!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

p.s. Leave a comment below about your tips for making a handmade advent calendar, or a cute story of how you count down the days to Christmas, or a special find of a fun calendar...anything related to the Christmas Countdown. All those who leave comments will be entered into a chance to win something 'artsy'....haven't decided yet, but it will be fun. I'll let the winner know on Friday.

Follow Me!

Bookmark and Share


Bridget said...

I am also a big fan of the advent calendar. I made one when my kids were little with felt, velcro and alot of hot glue. We still hang it every year on the back of our front door. I fill little pockets with small candies and a strip of paper with an activity. The sillier the better...sing your favorite Christmas carol...Say Merry Christmas to 3 people today...learn to say Merry Christmas in another language...write out your Christmas cards,etc. My kids are just as interested in what the strip says as the candy(which says alot!). Definitely make one - it will be a keepsake for years to come.

DawnCorrespondence said...

My sister does a Thanksgiving one for the family and each family member puts a piece of paper IN it every day saying something they are thankful for.

I think they also do the same thing for Christmas now that I think about it!

Soo much fun counting down!

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

I made an advent calendar one year that had 25 gingerbread men connected by their hands. It was simple - the shapes were made by tracing a cookie cutter onto brown paper.

On the middle of each shape was a label that listed something that could be done that day.

Since my daughters were young at the time, some of the activities were focused on ways that they could give to others or to our pets (e.g., help set the table, pet the dogs). Other activities were things we enjoyed getting out and doing (e.g., look at Christmas lights, see "The Nutcracker" ballet).

I wanted to make a more permanent Advent calendar this year, but ran out of time...perhaps it's time for the gingerbread men to come back!

Sara at Soap Rehab said...

What neat calendars!!! And your Dad is quite talented! I love advent calendars. I usually get the little chocolate filled kind...a little treat for each day! Love the ideas about putting little notes in them :)

Design Knit Fun said...

Thanks for sharing some of your holiday memories of your Dad - great work - and for what an advent calender is used for. I've seen, and heard of them but only remember having one around as a decoration, and not quite sure on what it was for. How Fun !

Nishant said...

Definitely make one - it will be a keepsake for years to come.

Work From Home