For the last three years I've been meaning to make an Advent calendar before the end of November and every year December 1st sneaks up on me. NOT THIS YEAR. I needed something I could easily finish in the time it took both kids to fall asleep and wake up again yesterday afternoon. After trying to come up with some ingenious use of inexpensive craft supplies to make something the world has NEVER SEEN BEFORE (I often have these ridiculous notions) I decided to do something aesthetically pleasing with what I had on hand that would help us to incorporate fun memories throughout the rest of the busy month.
I started with some gray wool that I found in a bargain bin last year and cut it to measure about 16" x 24". I hemmed the edges and made a pocket hem for the top edge in order to hang it on a rod (or stand in ruler). I found my cream felt and cut five rows so that they would fit my allotted space and pinned them down. I then sewed down all three outer edges of each felt panel. After measuring the distance needed for five spaces each, I stitched lines to create pockets. I then carefully hand cut felt numbers and glued them on with tacky glue. Finally, I cut an old ruler down to size using a serrated kitchen knife because I never have any dowel rods on hand, and added a pom-pom hanger.
Next, I cut down 25 individual cards from scrapbook paper I saved from last winter's lines, rounded off the corners and arranged them so that they looked mixed up. Then I made a list of all of the activities I could do with Sebastian or that we could do as a family to make each day this month a little more special. I thought about which days lent themselves to simple activities like making brownies and which days we could do something more specific such as enjoying the bounce house at the YMCA this Friday. Most of the activities will cost nothing or very little but will surely keep us focused on enjoying each other during the holidays.
One of the few treats that included a purchase was accomplished Tuesday evening. We took Sebastian to Target to get a pair of snow boots that fit his ever growing feet because our forecast calls for a chance of snow on Wednesday! 'Tis the season for a boy to have snow boots just in case.
Sebastian understood the concept of pulling out one card per day as we count down to Christmas and got really excited that each day held a new surprise. I'm hoping we'll be able to keep up with our own grand intentions and let this be a new family tradition that helps us stay mindful of why we celebrate Christmas and how special time with each other can be.
Next on the list of holiday cheer is to finish two smaller versions of the crocheted garland I made for Elsie's birthday gift, hang white Christmas lights in the windows, and drink more hot chocolate! We'll see if Ruby decides to take her naps so I can be hands free on Wednesday.