My mom, bless her, makes sure every year our girls have the kind with a piece chocolate behind each window. I don't like these as well because they don't seem as magical to me somehow. I'm sure the girls would disagree - such little chocoholics we have!
Anyway, a couple of years ago I remembered seeing a really cool advent calendar idea on the blog "Little Birds". Stephanie, the artist behind that gorgeous blog, created a garland of little stockings, each numbered 1 through 24. The best part of her plan though, I thought, was to put little pieces of paper with fun family activities in many of the days. While sadly Stephanie no longer updates the Little Birds blog, she has left it up. Here is the link to her finished Advent Garland on flickr and a post soliciting ideas for "stuffing" the stockings. The comments are particularly great on this one.
I just love her finished advent garland and her idea to fill it with "experiences". So much, in fact, that two years later I finally made the time to put together my own version. It is not nearly as creative, beautiful or artistic as the original, but I do think the girls are going to love it.
Sorry for the terrible pictures. No matter what I did tonight, they looked awful.
For my garland I went with super low maintenance red felt, simple white number and no frills. I may gussy it up with some trims next year, or I may not. I kind of like the plane Jane look.
Eventually I would love to knit one, similar to the one Liz is knitting over at Crossroad Knits. There was just no way I was going to have the time this year. I think the girls are both old enough this year to really get into it and enjoy the process of finding out what fun thing we are going to do each day. I didn't want to wait until I had time to make the "perfect" set, so I feel this one is "perfect" for right now.
By the way, some of the fun things I plan to put into the stockings include the following - many gleaned from the Little Birds post mentioned above:
- Get our Christmas Tree
- Visit Santa
- Bake Cookies
- Make Christmas gifts for grandparents, aunt's, etc.
- Go to lunch at their favorite restaurant
- Make 'smores in the fireplace
- Watch a holiday video
- Make paper snowflakes and decorate with them
- Paint our toenails
- Go shopping for mommy with daddy, daddy with mommy, etc.
- Have breakfast for dinner
- Go to the Zoo
- Go on a drive to look at Christmas lights
- Read a special Christmas book
I also have some little treats to fill in on other days, like new coloring books, small toy animals, etc.
I am really excited about this project and hope it turns into a long family tradition!