Grow: DIY Advent Calendar
An advent calendar is one of those things that has always said “Christmas” to me. We had several different kinds when I was little – pictures with little doors that open and those with yummy chocolate treats. But my favorite was one my mom made. Twenty five envelopes hung in a row, and inside each one was a paper “ornament” with a picture and a verse from the Christmas story.
As children do, we eventually grew out of this tradition, but my mom saved the envelopes and ornaments, and when my children were young she gave them to me so that I could begin an advent calendar tradition in my own home.
Here is how I made my advent calendar.
First my husband cut a long thin piece of wood (I think this is a leftover piece of trim), and nailed 25 small nails into it. I tied fishing wire to the ends so I could hang it up, but I think this year I’ll swap that out for a festive Christmas ribbon.. The wood is 30 inches long and the nails are about 1.25 inches apart.
Because the construction paper ornaments from my childhood were rather faded, I decided to make new ones. Not being very artistic, I chose to do the picture side of the paper using stickers. I ordered a set of 12 sheets of nativity stickers from Oriental Trading Company. This allowed me to avoid drawing people, which could have taken the focus off the Bible story and instead launched a discussion about why Mary looks like a monkey.
I traced circles onto the archival scrapbooking paper (to avoid fading) and punched holes in to the top to make the balls. On one side I wrote a verse from the Christmas story, and on the other side I put a picture to coordinate with that verse. The only odd thing about telling the WHOLE Christmas story with this advent calendar is that Jesus is born on day 11, but since so many important events take place after Jesus’ birth, I decided that was ok with me. (I’ll list the references below for anyone interested.)
Christina made an advent calendar out of matchboxes last year. Do you and your family use an advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas?