Tuesday, November 22, 2011

advent calendar hello

I want to show you a (not so) little advent calendar I put together yesterday afternoon.  I've been preparing for it for weeks, busily collecting small toys and ideas...I was so excited to put it all together finally!

When I took this picture of the books I thrifted last week (b1g1free...my kids LOVE Jan Brett and I got 5 of her books that we did not have) I was having so much fun:

I typed up my activity ideas and printed them out...so much fun!:

I gathered everything and carved a polka dot potato stamp...so festive!  I cut art paper for my packages, figured out which days to give which gifts/treats/activities, and started stamping the dates on each piece of paper.  It was going to be so cute!

After about an hour, when I was at this point:

it stopped being quite as much fun.  My potato stamp had seen better days, my fingers were blood red and I was starting to sweat a little.  I stripped off my fleece, got some chocolate and went back to work.

For each package, I sewed the 2 open sides, slipped the treat in, and then sewed each one closed:

Oops!  Nothing for December 2nd or 3rd!  Crap.  Went through everything, found mistake, watched the clock and kept on sewing.  My shoulders were a little tight at this point and I couldn't help but think of a blinking neon sign like the one in that old Motel Hello movie...

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Finally at 3:19 I finished sewing the last package closed.  Ah, 10 minutes to relax before the kids get home.  :)

It ended up being more work than I originally anticipated (of course) but I am so happy it's done and think they are going to love it.  (the potato polka dots were cute but unnecessary!)  I tried for a nice mix of family activities, art activities, books, treats and little toys.  I think I spent around $25 for all of it, using paper, stamps, potatoes and thread that I had at home.  I plan on displaying all of them in a wicker basket and they can pick out the correct one each morning.



I love sewing on paper and find it a lot easier than wrapping 24 items.  I used mini paper bags one year and that was pretty darn easy, too.  I just knew I wanted Christmas-y books this year and those don't fit in a mini paper bag.

Next time I will skip the polka dots and not try to do it all in one sitting.  I'm so glad I did it, though.  And that I don't have to do it again for another year.  :)

xoxo


5 comments:

  1. So clever. Your kids will remember this forever and tell their kids about this.

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  2. OMG you are the best mom in the WORLD!! Some day your kids will sit around and say "remember when mom... Your kids will have so many things to say that this conversation will be one of those late into the night deals. Love you XXOO A. Kristy

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  3. Funny I was just saying to Elijah today that I thought that Advent should be only 8 days (that way I would only have to sew 8 numbers on the silly/wonderful calendar that I am making ..... not sure it will be done in time for Sunday, but hay:). Oh and I need to call you about this wonderful project that I am doing.....:):):) I was going to do it today, but you where getting your kids (I think).

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  4. You are such an amazing Mama, Stephanie! I learn a lot from watching you. Enjoy Advent with your kiddos. I still remember when my Mom cut up yarn and we each had a manger for baby Jesus. If we were good we got to put a piece in and if we were bad we had to take one out. The idea was to have a soft bed for Baby Jesus by Christmas. I still remember how much I loved that.

    xoxo, Your ever-lovin' Cousintine

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  5. Thank you all for the sweet comments. Sarah, that is so sweet. xoxo

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