2010 Advent Calendar – 2010 Joulukalenteri

November 30, 2010

2010 Advent Calendar - 2010 Joulukalenteri

Phew. I´ve been working in this project for almost the whole November. I managed to craft it, a little at a time in my spare time.

Making the Advent Calendar has become a tradition in my family. Before having children we didn’t care much about it, that´s true. We used to get those ready ones from the supermarket, filled with “candy-chocolate” small figures. Chocolate wasn’t that good but served for the purpose =).

I started making it by myself about 3 years ago. The first one was made with small cardboard boxes (all kinds of packing boxes), cut in same depth, wrapped with recycled/leftovers Christmas gift papers. One side was totally open, making super easy just to pop the wrapping paper and access the little goodies. To make it less boring, I assembled the little “presents” in a locomotive shape =). Aha, yep I spent couple of hours trying to figure out a good structure for the calendar. :P

The second handmade Advent Calendar wasn’t suppose to happen. I was too busy with two little girls but I decided to craft a quick one. Oldest daughter was big enough and I thought it would be nice to introduce some sort of “activity” for her during the waiting for Christmas. I made 24 little origami bells and put little gifts in 24 little paper bags. I glued one sticker inside the bell and the same sticker to one paper bag. Luonnonvoima just needed to play “find a match” with the sticker pairs.  ^_^

Last year´s Calendar was a hit. I crafted little snowmen using the papier-mâché technique. The little snowmen were basically mini “piñatas”, made of tissue paper and diluted white glue on small balloons. You can check out more detailed pictures in my Flickr set for the Snowmen.

Previous Advent Calendars

I was so lazy to start making the calendar this year! I had some ideas, but all required TOO much time to construct them. October went, November started and it was just getting on my nerves. Finally, I came up with this idea and stayed on it. ^_^

2010 Advent Calendar – Little wool socks

2010 Advent Calendar - 2010 Joulukalenteri

My girls like to play treasure hunting a lot. My little pirates just go crazy if you give them a map to find some hidden “treasure”. Luonnonvoima can draw a map for herself (including the “X” for the treasure), hide some little toy and play with Pikkusiili for a while.

Based on that, I decided to incorporate the treasure hunt to my Christmas Calendar this year. No, I am not crazy (well, not yet. Or, maybe I am :D).

The Advent Calendar consists of 24 little wool socks (I knitted them using the yarn I had at home) clipped to a thread using mini clothespins that I decorated too. I labeled each clothespin with a number, corresponding to the 24 days for Christmas.

Now, the treasure hunt part: girls will find a small note inside each little sock. Because they still don’t know how to read, instead of a word clue, I simply drew one object from our home. They will need to recognize the object and go for it. A little package with goodies will be placed where the hint sends them to.

Fun isn´t it? The disadvantage of this type of calendar is that I need to keep a list showing where I should hide the package for the day. Hehe, I can only complicate things… I really hope my girls will enjoy it!

Contents of the calendar: chocolates, candies, stickers, a puzzle (about three pieces a day), toy jewelry and hairpins. The other years: lego kits, small play dough, DIY finger puppets, magnet alphabet letters, toothbrushes, socks, candies, hairpins. I tend to put some activity everyone in the family can participate (it is specially good during these dark days here where I live).

When they get older, I will try to put a list of activities instead of objects. For example “bake gingerbread men”, “gaze at the stars”, “laugh until you belly hurts”. Those kind of things. :D

Tomorrow starts the countdown. You still have time to make an advent calendar! For reals. Grab colored papers, draw socks, cut them out. Mark an activity behind it, or use my treasure hunt idea. It is all about making the waiting for Christmas more bearable for the little ones ^_^.

2010 Advent Calendar - 2010 Joulukalenteri

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37 Responses to “2010 Advent Calendar – 2010 Joulukalenteri”

  1. Lia Chen Says:

    Lily! You are super creative! Love to see all of your Advent Calendars ♥ Don’t know about this tradition until I read your post. You have so much patient to do this, all I can say is two thumbs up. I can tell that your waiting time for Christmas to come especially for your kids will be full of fun and loves :)

  2. mils Says:

    This is so wonderful! I can’t pick which one I like best because they are all so super adorable. The mini hand knitted socks…omg!

    Can I reserve for you to make one for me next Christmas? Complete with treasure hunting clues and pictures…hehehe. What a great way to keep your girls occupied coming up to Christmas

  3. Heather Says:

    It’s amazing what you’ve done! I am so impressed, I wish I lived at your house!!

  4. ChantaleP Says:

    Lille! Holy moly these are incredible! Um, where do you find the time to do all these things? I love the idea of drawing a familiar object rather than writing it out. So fun! Can you be my mommy?? Your kids are so lucky to have you. You should get your own business going cuz these are fantastic!

  5. Julia Says:

    These advent calendars are exquisitely beautiful. You are superb. The talent and patience – just GREAT! Why don’t you start marketing these calendars? They’ll definitely be winners. Start soon and then expand to other items. Children across the globe will love you and bless you.


  6. Joyous and so creative! What special memories these will make…

  7. Natakiya Says:

    Your advent calendar is incredible! I love it!!! The knitted socks are so cute and colorful :D All the little decorations on the clothespins are wonderful too, they really add something special.

    You have inspired me to try and make a neat advent calendar too! Mine won’t be as awesome, but it will be lots of fun :)

  8. sheri Says:

    You are the supreme queen of the advent calendar. If I were a little girl again I hope to be one of yours, to enjoy the waiting in such a beautiful way. Such lucky girls you have!! The advent calendar treasure hunt itself will be a gift of fun each day! Amazing and lovely work :o)

  9. Sonoma Bento Says:

    *Mouth drops open* Oh. My. God. These are amazing! That you made TWO of them blows me away. You are so talented, and your girls will remember these special advent calendars for the rest of their lives. How wonderful!

  10. honey Says:

    Wow from Canada! I love the stockings and the treasure hunt idea. My little ones would totally love this idea. However, this year is a little late for me. Next year I’ll have a set of felt stockings for them (or if I can learn crochet fast enough, I’ll crochet them). Your blog is so amazing. Thanks for sharing. =)

  11. karaimame Says:

    Thank you Lia! I didn’t have advent calendars back then where I lived either. But it is a nice tradition ^_^, I am glad to have learned new things after moving to Finland :)

  12. karaimame Says:

    Oh mils! It would be so nice to make one for you ^_^!! There should be “bigger” socks to support bigger gifts don´t you think?
    Thanks so much for your kind comment!

  13. karaimame Says:

    Heather, thanks so much! ^_^

  14. karaimame Says:

    Ehehe =), I must tell you that I don’t have much time… I would love to have more! It would be utopic fabulous ^_^.
    Chantale, thank you so much for your encouragement!

  15. karaimame Says:

    Oh, wow, I am very glad you liked it! It would be so nice to share my handmade things… but for now I am very happy to craft for my family ^_^.
    Thanks a lot for your sweet comment Julia!

  16. karaimame Says:

    Thank you Jenn for so lovely comment ^_^

  17. karaimame Says:

    That´s great to hear!! I would like to see yours when it is ready ^_^. I believe A-chan will have such a wonderful waiting time for Christmas!
    Thanks for the kind words too!

  18. karaimame Says:

    *bows* ^_^, thanks… girls are so excited with the “game” they can´t barely wait for hubs to come home so they can open the first “clue” =)
    Sheri, you are so nice… your support is amazing. Thanks again!

  19. karaimame Says:

    Oh no no Michelle! I didn’t make two of them :) (that would be mad!). It is just one for both girls. The other calendars are from the previous years. I thought it would be nice to share them too in the same post ^_^.
    Anyways, thank you so much for your comment! So pretty words :).

  20. karaimame Says:

    Hello there Canada! ^_^ Aw.. too bad it is too late to make one this year. But I believe your kids are going to love it in the next one!
    Have a great time waiting for Christmas !
    Thank you for your lovely comment :).

  21. joulurunoja Says:

    merry christmas!

  22. karaimame Says:

    Hyvää Joulua ^_^

  23. Sarah Says:

    Lille, I am so impressed. You are so amazing that your children will resent you when they have children because they just won’t live up to your impeccable standards ; )

    *Merry Christmas*

  24. karaimame Says:

    I hope not ;).
    Thanks Sarah! And Merry Christmas to you too ^_^.

  25. Susan Yuen Says:

    You are so talented and creative! I love it!

  26. Shirley Says:

    What a beautiful advent calendar! My mom always bought one for me every year when I was small and I looked forward to it every Christmas. You are super talented and I love all of your gorgeous creations. Beautiful blog :)

  27. karaimame Says:

    Thanks Susan! ^_^

  28. karaimame Says:

    Shirley, so happy to have you here in my blog =) . So you have the tradition there too? I never had an advent calendar until I moved here :D.
    Thank you so much for your lovely words! ありがとうございます。^_^

  29. honey Says:

    It is too late to make the stockings, but I decided to give my creativity a go and came up with a beautiful paper chain with something written on each link. Every day the children take a link off of the chain and do what it says. Everything is easy and low cost for me. Yesterday they sang jingle bells, today they played a game, tomorrow they will colour a christmas scene. That kind of thing. They love it!

    Thank you for inspiring me. =)

  30. Marika Says:

    What a fun calendar! :) Treasure hunting is a great idea! I could use it when little V is a bit older :)

  31. karaimame Says:

    That is fabulous! So fun idea! I bet the kids are enjoying it a lot ^_^. Yep, the thing about the Advent Calendar is to have fun while waiting for Christmas, not candies or gifts. Spending time with children and seeing them having fun is delightful! A little smile in their faces has enormous value :)
    Hope you will have a great month! ;)

  32. karaimame Says:

    ^_^ I bet lil´V is going to enjoy it when she gets older :P. So much fun and lots of places to hide stuff isn´t it? ;)


  33. Wow, super cute advent calendar!!!

  34. karaimame Says:

    Thank you ^_^ .

  35. simoni Says:

    hey! i’m sorry (and ashamed) to say that i don’t even know your name, but i follow your blog for a few months, and i should say that i love your crafts and bentos sooo much! its a really good inspiration every time i notice that you have new posts on the blog :) have a great holiday season you all. thaks a lot!


  36. […] I told before, I invented this tradition to make a homemade Advent Calendar every year. I try to […]

  37. karaimame Says:

    Hi there! Please don´t be ashamed!! You can call me Lily if you wish ^^!
    It is very nice to hear you liked my crafts and bentos, readers like you gives me the inspiration I need to continue blogging!
    Thank you very much for your sweet comment and have a lovely holiday season you too!
    (Adorei o comentário viu? Seja bem-vinda ao meu cantinho ;)


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