THIS how Advent rolls 'round these parts:
> I usually forget that Advent is coming until December 2nd or 3rd and then I run to the garage and dig around through the Christmas decorations until I find the Calendar (that I have been re-creating yearly... can't get it the way I want it. My plan this year may finish it though...)
> I quickly stuff each day with leftover Halloween candy and stale mini-candy canes and quickly include the daily activities... randomly and illogically.
> My kids LOVE the Advent Calendar. They wake up each morning and beg me to get out of the shower so they can open it. Because I don't always have the time to be rational about which daily activity ends up where, sometimes my kids want to sit down and make Christmas gifts for grandparents before school on a Tuesday... or we are reading the weekly Advent Scripture reading on a Thursday... but this year I am all over it!
> In all seriousness, Advent is a time of preparing for a Holy day. Even if Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th, we are celebrating his birthday this month and it is a meaningful time to reflect on God's Love for us through the birth of His son. Christmas is a time where we should slow down, spend more time together as a family and enjoy the blessings that God has given us. Plus, the decorations are pretty, the cookies are delightful and the music is addictive.
> This is my Advent calendar. The purpose of an Advent Calendar (I think) is preparation for Christ's birth. There are daily activities that both prepare us and allow us to slow down and spend time together as a family.
Look below and you will see the printables (that you can take and use) of the daily activities (print on 1 sheet of cardstock, cut and stuff) as well as the numbers (print on 2 sheets of 2" circle labels).
I made my calendar by sewing a felt 26" Christmas Tree on a felt 18" x 44" panel. (That would be 1/2 yard of red felt, 1/2 yard of green felt, and a 12" felt square of brown to cut and add a tree trunk) I sewed a rod pocket at the top and bottom and added wooden dowels. The top dowel has a ribbon attached with attractive push pins, which I use to hang it on the wall.
This year I am adding 50 buttons to the tree and sewing little fabric "bags" that can hang on the buttons to replace the metal canisters you see in the picture - which are held on by velcro (because they kept falling off the calendar).
Here are the daily activities (click to see it/print it larger - comment with an email address for a PDF in your inbox):
Here are the Calendar numbers (and some bonus gift labels):
Linking up with Bloggers for Christmas
What do you think? There are so many different types of Advent calendars and so many ways to celebrate the Season!! Do you have an Advent calendar? What type is it? Do you have special traditions that you do each year to prepare for Christmas?