Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Calendar... with kids.

I embarked on a new mission this holiday season: an advent calendar. The possibilities are endless. I had in mind a calendar layout with pockets to hold different messages for each day... kinda like a cross between a scavenger hunt, a fortune cookie, and "Jesus is the reason" reminder.

Crafting with the girls in our new office. Yep, it works wonderfully.

I started by cutting pieces of paper 3" by 2.5" and the folding 1/2" under on 3 sides to form a little envelope. I made 25 of them and stuck them on with hot glue.

If there is something you should know about me, it is that I love hot glue. My girls are now addicted as well and we count ourselves fortunate that we left this crafting experience without any third degree burns.

A good blogger would have taken step-by step photos of each stage... but I've proven myself a not very good blogger these days.

I put the 12"x12" calendar on my Creative Memories wall frame.
It's magnetic and works perfectly for this project. 

We decorated each envelope and added stick on numbers. All the while I was trying to make this calendar someone grown-up looking, I was feeding craft supplies to the girls so they could work on their own things. They use stickers and glue at an excellerated pace, so rationing is necessary. But all in all, everything went smoothly, they completed 5 individual works of art  while I got my squares lookin good and they were happy to help me decorate the little boxes when the time came.

I tend to be a little Martha-esque. I'm being honest here. I love things perfect and nice and I would have enjoyed doing this project while the girls were having their quiet time. Yet, I also know they are learning how to be creative, using their imaginations, spending time with me, and making memories. No precious craft supplies or perfect projects are more important than these things. I have to remind myself somewhat constantly, but it was worth it and we had a lot of fun.

I made up advent ideas and wanted the phrases to be service related or good, practical projects. I threw in some scripture memorization in too. Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Make a craft for someone else.

  • Do something kind for a neighbor.

  • Call a grandparent just to say “I love you."

  • Wrap a Christmas present (or two).

  • Make a Christmas card.

  • Memorize Matthew 1:21, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

I hope you are inspired to try an advent calendar too! Let me know if you have any other creative ideas.



Sara said...

Love it! Great ideas and I'm impressed that you did it all with your girls "helping" you!

Shawna said...

This is the first year I even considered an Advent Calendar. I found a book at the Bible bookstore that has 25 short stories that are all connected. We are to read a story each night and then it concludes with the birth of Jesus. I am really excited to share it with Madison and start a new tradition. You are an inspiration!

Dan & Hillary said...

You're a better mom than me;-) I bought our chocolate-filled, Santa-smiling advent calendar from Trader Joe's for $1.00. Happy Glue-Gunning!

Anonymous said...

oh la la - love this idea! And I think you and your girls made a very Martha-ish calendar. I was seriously impressed.

Happy Christmas season!
mel and phil

Andee said...

Lovely! I get inspired to start on this kind of thing usually when I'm right in the middle of another major project.

Season said...

There's a great pattern for advent calenders on groceryshrink.com. I'm not doing it but...this year we're going all out and pulling out the nativity scene as I will be exactly 9 months pregnant when it's time to pack it all up and put it away.

joyq said...

I gave you a Style Award on my blog- EVEN though your son threw up on my scarf and I forgot and wondered aloud "what on earth is that smell?" all day long:)

In related news LETS HANG OUT!!!! :)

Sherri said...

love it! (and your new and improved attitude about letting go of perfectionism). looking forward to #3 on th list- wonder what day it will fall on:)