Monday, November 23, 2009

Advent-ures in Crafting

Did you have advent calendars when you were a kid? I can only really remember having one. It was kind of a nightmare because my siblings and I fought the entire month about whose day it was to open the little door and get the nasty chocolate. I think that may have been our first and last foray into advent calendars.

I've always wanted to make one modeled after one I saw in a Pottery Barn catalog (it's not sold anymore.) A couple years ago, I found a little white shelf at a yard sale. I taped the photo from the PB catalog to the back so I'd remember why I bought the shelf in the first place. 3 years later, I finally got around to doing something with it. Unfortunately the shelf only contains 18 squares so I had to use the top too. Oh well, perfection is not always the name of the game.

I also saw this blog post and thought it was a great idea to treat an advent calendar as a holiday warm up. So I took some origami paper I had (points for using things on hand) and wrote 24 different tasks on it for cultivating the holiday spirit. I didn't have the patience to make little gift boxes, maybe next year. Also, since its a calendar (I should have numbered the holes- note for next year), you can use it to plan out your month. For instance I included:

  • Design and send Christmas cards. (I always do this the first week in December.)
  • Pick out the Christmas tree and decorate it. (We usually do this the first weekend in December.)
  • Bake Christmas cookies. (I put that one in the day before the Cookie Party I go to every year.)
  • Buy toys for tots . (These are due on Dec. 8th, so I put that for the Saturday before.)
  • Play hooky and go to the movies. (Cory and I started this tradition a couple of years ago. We usually go at the beginning of the Christmas week. It's a nice break from the holiday madness.)
  • Make gifts for neighbors and deliver. (I usually do this the day before Christmas Eve.)
Other ones are a little looser in terms of a time frame, so if you can't get to them that particular day/night, you could always just postpone it for a better time:

  • Go see Christmas lights. (We've never really done this before. Well, I haven't as an adult or sober.)
  • Empty piggy banks for Salvation Army kettles. (Beatrice is not going to like this one. She has recently become obsessed with putting coins into her piggy bank. She'll shake down anyone who comes into her bedroom by jangling the piggy and flashing her little doe-eyed smile.)
  • Watch Christmas movies. (We've never done this before... what are some good holiday movies? )
I really like the idea of family traditions. I think this might be one we can keep up. And it should only get better as Beatrice gets older and more into it.

If you don't have a shelf, you could always just take strips of paper and make an advent 'chain.' You rip off each day and do the task.

What are some of your holiday traditions?


  1. the b**tch is back! that is awesome. i looove everything about it! so going to copy you :)))

  2. when you get a chance, whip one of those up for me!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Christmas Vacation is my 5 brothers & I favorite movie (not just holiday movie). At least once on Christmas Eve & Christmas we go quote-crazy from that movie.

    "One Magic Christmas" may be the most depressing Christmas movie.

    "Its a wonderful Life" is good, and you can throw in lines like "in times like these...." & "in this economy..." to show how its message is still valuable today.

    "Scrooged" is funny as is the "Muppet Christmas Carol".

    I love British movies and Melissa leaves the room when "Love Actually" is on (I bust out my British accent). Its probably my favorite RomCom.

    and Big Mami- above posts removed due to the fact that at 31 years old i still cannot type, not for inappropriate behavior.

  6. in terms of tradition, Melissa and exchange "tree decorating" each year. She likes a pottery barn-looking tree & I like tacky ornaments, garlands, & lots & lots of tinsel. Its my year this year.

  7. Cory and I trade years too. I think its finally my year this year. You and Cory have a similar asthetic, as do Melissa and I.

  8. Great job on the Advent box. Come on over and whip up something artsy at my house will ya. As for the tree. John usually gets to put on his flashy garland, but we always use white lights! Oh and we are a big xmas light following family. I like the ones where you can turn your radio to the music and watch it match the display.