Home Confetti: Countdown to Christmas!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Countdown to Christmas!

In exactly two weeks it will be December 1st! WOW! Time to start counting down to Christmas! Until this year I was opposed to advent calendars--simply because I thought "how much more stuff do kids need to get?!" But, I guess it's a good way to handle kids' anticipation for the big day, and an advent calendar does not have to be entirely filled with sweets and treats. Fill each day with a good deed or activity instead. When I did a search for advent calendars I could not believe the hundreds of images I got! From classic to whimsical to modern, here are just some of my favorites. Use the ideas as is, or use them as inspiration to come up with your own versions. Make sure to read through my notes, because there are links to a couple of advent calendars not pictured.

Here is the one I'm planning on doing. It's eighteen25's take on an idea from Family Fun. Perfect for a mantle or bookshelf, the collection of trees makes such a shimmery festive scene on its own. For the tutorial and even a downloadable printable of the numbers, visit eighteen25 here.

Doubletree: Kids will love seeing all their daily surprises hanging on a tree like this! Use small packages as done here, or use clear plastic ornaments with wrapped treats inside. This makes a perfect small "second" tree to keep in the kids' room. For the full post, click here.
This craft stick advent tree is a good, inexpensive option. Those little boxes are done origami style. If you find that too time-consuming, grab some of those little kraft envelopes from the office supply store (the kind you slip keys into) as an alternative. Click here for the tutorial.

From the Mags: Wanna keep your daily treats small? Create this precious advent tree from Country Living with matchbooks. Click here for the how-to.
The next one from Better Homes & Gardens gives you a 2-in-1! It is a pretty wreath to hang, as well as an advent calendar. Traditionally, you see those round tins used on cookie sheets to make an advent calendar. If you're not familiar with those, you can see a magnetic version here. And a velcro version here.

Tall Order: Go green with this one! This advent calendar is made with paper bags. Fill each pocket with a special thought or phrase for each day. Get the full tutorial here.
This one is green too, in its own special way. It stands 2 1/2' tall! It will take a little more time than the others, but the end result is certainly worth it! It makes a great focal point in any room. Find out how to make this here.

If you want to forgo the treats and activities, and just countdown the days, try one of these.
The left one makes a fun game for kids. Add an ornament to the tree each day. The ornament illustrations are too cute–and you can download the illustrations free! To find out where and how, click here.
Or make a Christmas countdown calendar with chalkboard vinyl. I just saw craft glass blocks in Lowe's. For a great vinyl resource that features this project, visit Candy Apple Designs here.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to advent calendars. If you're looking for one using specific materials, let me know, and I'll help you find what you're looking for. Let the countdown begin!

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