Christmas · Crafts

Advent Calendar

I have always had the best of intentions when it comes to Christmas decorating. I’m less interested in buying new things every season and more interested in buying or creating lasting decorations. For example . . . there are two projects that I have wanted to do since before Fleet was born. One took me about 4 years to finally complete and the other took about 5 years. I don’t know what the big hold up was except for that I might have been a little busy raising babies (a situation that I am finding myself in again!)

I have always wanted to make an advent calendar. I love the idea of counting down to Christmas and having something to look forward to everyday. I spent years (yes, literally  years) scouring pinterest for the perfect idea. The thing is that there are TONS of good ideas out there. Most of them are too complicated for me. I am not great with a sewing machine or super handy with tools so simplicity was key. I also wanted it to look perfect (ha!). I had dreams of filling each day with a new Christmas song that I could teach the kids and we could sing it together all day. There would be no candy in our advent tree, thank you very much.

Two years ago I was in Michaels and spotted an unpainted wooden advent tree. It had little drawers for each day. I bought it on a whim along with some paint and that is what became our advent calendar. Fleet, Luke and I painted it together one afternoon and you know what, it is definitely not perfect. I don’t think it would get any re-pins on pinterest. But I adore it. I remember sitting there with them (pregnant with Elle at the time) in the back yard. Fleet was 4 and Luke was 3, they were both such littles. They didn’t want to paint the tree green and they certainly didn’t care about having any kind of pattern or rhyme and reason to the design. They just wanted to dip their brushes into all the paint colors and smear them all over the place. I got them to do a few polka-dots and add some glitter but otherwise it was just a fun activity that we did together. And it’s perfectly random and that is hard to do guys!

And guess what I fill it with . . . CANDY! HA! Sometimes you just have to let go in order to really enjoy.

 This year the boys are really into playing with the tree. I am constantly asking them to put the drawers back in. Even though they can count, the drawers never end up in the right places.

Here are a few advent calendars that have been on my pinterest board for years. I still really like them all, they are beautiful. If you are craftier than me, these might be perfect for you! But I wouldn’t trade mine.

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This one is so cute and she cross-stitched everything! That is definitely a family heirloom. Here are the details.

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I like the idea of this one- just having nice messages or positive “call-to-actions” like “do something nice for your brother today.” Here are the details.

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I love how natural this one looks. It seems simple enough but I think you have to make all those cute little bags! Here are the details.

Stay tuned for handmade Christmas Stockings. That is the other project that I have always wanted to do and finally finished last year. I will need to add another one by next Christmas! They turned out perfect, yes perfect and not in the “my kids made them and that’s what makes them special” kind of way. Though I do have good memories of making them with my mom, they are definitely an adult project.

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