November 30, 2010
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.
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
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 ^_^.