In a scene from some other family's life, the boys boy slept past 6 am this morning... they didn't get up until nearly 8! This gave me some unexpected free time to finish up the advent calendar. I originally saw this idea in the [now defunct] Martha Stewart Kids magazine. It can now be found on her website. The idea is to count down the days until Christmas. You need twenty-four small gift or jewelry boxes. About half of mine are recycled (big thanks to everyone who contributed boxes: Jess, Mom, Em), and the other half came from the craft store. I painted them with acrylic paint, embellished some with festive paper, and gave them all number stickers.
Next I had to plan out what to put inside. This took some thought and creativity. The boxes are pretty small, so there aren't a lot of objects that will fit. Also, I didn't want to spent too much money. This post on Uncommon Grace has a huge list of ideas for filling advent calendars, and I found it extremely helpful. About half of the boxes have objects: little chocolates, socks, chapstick, tiny toys, origami animals. The other half have sheets of paper on which I have written out jokes or special activities that will happen that day. I had to consult the calendar to be sure I put the activities in the proper box (the "movie and popcorn night" box should be opened on a Saturday, not a Tuesday).
Finally I was ready to hang our calendar. I used poster putty to stick the boxes to the wall in a configuration that was pleasing to my eye. No need to put them in order... part of the fun is hunting for the right number.
I'm really excited to start this new tradition. I think the boys will love it. I have a notion to post each box and its contents as we move through December. Would that be mind-numbingly boring for you guys? That sure would be an easy way to post every day. We'll see...
Oh, I forgot to mention that I got a new sewing machine!!! It was an anniversary present. I am very, very excited about the crafty possibilities now at my fingertips. Sadly, I don't think I'll have time to really use it until after Christmas. But Nate has a week off after Christmas, so I want to really get acquainted with it then. Wait, didn't I just write about how I never get anything done when he's home? Yeah... well, maybe my Brother can help me break that habit.