Saturday, November 28, 2015

Creative Kids _ Advent Calendars

Growing up, one of my favorite parts of Christmas was the Advent Calendar that hung above my bed. Mine was made of dark blue felt with 4 Santa's down the middle - each day of December had a brass ring allocated to it, the numbers and rings were sewn onto the felt fabric, and it was the most exciting feeling in the world to wake up on December 1st to see the calendar bulging and sagging with the weight of tiny presents, each one tied to one brass hoop. I still have it, although the Santas have been retired for quite some time now !

I want Christmas to be just as magical for my own children as it was for me, and so I find myself following the same traditions that my mother and grandmother laid out for me all those years ago. When our oldest was little the calendar just held chocolate coins wrapped in gold paper, one for each day of December. As he got older I added a gift just on the 4 days of Advent ... a little car, a plastic animal. One year I took a tube of plastic knights and dragons and wrapped one for each day of the month. Some years it's chocolates, some years a combination of a treat and a small gift. There are families who write out 24 lists of things to do as a family to enjoy the season - things like watching a movie together in their pj's, having a snowball fight, singing carols by candlelight ... there are some who wrap up holiday themed books for the family to read together, one for each day of the month. That's the beauty of it, whatever you choose to do is just perfect. (Although to be fair, how does anything compete with chocolate !)

Here are a few beautiful and easy to make calendars I found online via Pinterest ... usually I try to use my own images only on this blog, but hopefully the owners will be happy to share ... all photos are linked to their original websites.

Image 4: Frydogdesign via Pinterest

For us, Advent means a family breakfast with the table set. A fresh wreath, four candles. The little touches that make for a special morning. The children are already counting sleeps until their calendars go up.

Happy Advent !