Being the big chocolate lover that I am, I used to look forward to counting down the days to Christmas with a chocolate advent calendar. I think it's a little too early for my boys to share mommy's addiction to chocolate and I need to take a (short) break after eating WAY too many mini chocolate bars for Halloween, so I wanted to find an advent calendar alternative. I thought about making an advent calendar for my boys with small items to open each day, but really, the last thing they need is more stuff!
During a Pinterest search for ideas, I found a Christmas traditions countdown calendar from Create Craft Love. It gives you something fun for your family to do each day and you can make the traditions personal. I love the idea of starting our Christmas traditions when my boys are so young. I wanted an advent calendar that the boys could physically open each day so I used this simple design from Pars Caeli as a guide.
I went to Michael's to collect the necessary supplies, which are as follows:
1) 6 sheets of 12" x 12" coloured cardstock (I chose two shades each of red, green, and yellow)
2) 3 sheets of 12" x 12" white cardstock (I purchased 4 sheets and I explain why below)
3) 1 sheet of 22" x 28" bristol board (I chose gold)
1. Since the project requires 6" x 6" coloured cardstock and 4" x 4" white cardstock, it was necessary to cut them. I don't have a paper cutter at home, so I went to Staples and they did it for me for just over $3. The entire project rang in at approximately $15!
2. To fold the coloured cardstock, I used a ruler to find the halfway point of one edge and then I folded each corner in as shown in the picture below. Make sure to do a tight fold so the coloured cardstock remains closed until you are ready to start the advent calendar on December 1.
3. I had a lot of fun coming up with the traditions for each day. I included decorating, giving to charity, reading Christmas books and watching Christmas shows, and of course enjoying plenty of holiday treats. I taped each piece of white cardstock in the centre of the coloured cardstock and then taped each piece to the bristol board.
4. After trimming the excess bristol board, I used an X-Acto knife to make two small holes at the top of the advent calendar and strung twine through to hang it up.
I made sure to purchase an extra sheet of white cardstock as I know our traditions will change over time. I will keep waiting several more years until we can enjoy my favourite Christmas tradition of watching Home Alone and getting junk food from the nearest gas station!
What are your family Christmas traditions?