I'm a big fan of Advent calendars.
Many of you have seen the Advent boxes I made back in 2007 (inspired by Martha). I'm currently looking for new place to hang them in our house. Last year we also had a LEGO® City Advent Calendarbecause they are just super fun for each morning. This year we're going to have both again + a little something else.
The little something else for 2010 are hand-drawn Advent cards with specific actions to be taken each day.
Here's a video that shows you what I did and talks a bit more about the project.
Here's the how-to for this project:
- Purchase and download the Advent Boxes digital kit from Designer Digitals (it's currently on sale this weekend for 30% off). For convenience and simplicity I've included a red, green, brown, and black PDF file included with the package. Just download, open + print.
- Print the PDF file(s) of your choice. I printed on photo paper (currently using Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl). I printed both the red and the brown to have a mix of the two. The digital package also includes each frame individually if you wanted to do something like add the frames to photos.
- Adhere pattern paper to the back of the 8.5x11 sheet of paper. For this step I used Xyron's Creatopia machine. They are a sponsor here on my blog and sent me a machine to test out. The pattern papers I used are: "Tiri" from 3ndypapir.no (really lovely papers from Norway), Bo Bunny Wild Berry Red Dot, and Anna Griffin Christmas Cardstock Pack (used this for the inside cover pages of my December Daily).
- Cut out or punch with a square punch. I used this 2.5 inch square punch from Marvy (they list it as 3.5 inches but that's the diagonal measurement).
- Add a number sticker or embellishment on the back if you want them to be numbered. Letter stickers and embellishments shown in the video include: American Crafts Foam Subway Cherry, Jenni Bowlin Vintage Christmas Chipboard Buttons, Banana Fish Studio Milk Caps.
- Hand-write your daily actions. I used a Precision Pen from American Crafts. See my daily action suggestions below.
- Add to your Advent Boxes, pocket calendar, tree branches, or just have them in a bowl on your table.
- At the end of each day these little cards could be added to your December Daily.
ENCOURAGING OUR KIDS TO LOOK BEYOND THEMSELVES
For each of the daily sentiments I wanted to head in the direction of answering this question: what things that can help our kids look beyond themselves and celebrate the season. That was my initial focus.
I want words that require action. I want activities that are developmentally appropriate. I want things that are fun. I want activities that invoke the spirit of the season. I also want to include a few fun traditions like looking at lights while drinking hot cocoa, getting our tree and visiting Santa.
I like the idea that these cards can act as a road map for the season. I like that each day Simon (with a little help from Anna) can pick out a card and it can steer us in a specific direction for the afternoon or evening.
Here's what I've come up with so far (I'd love to read your suggestions and ideas in the comments section):
- Tell a friend at school you think they're really cool.
- Take a special treat to a neighbor.
- Pick a name from the giving tree. Find a gift for that person.
- Make a small stocking. Drop it off on someone's door as a surprise.
- Make a card for a loved one and send it in the mail.
- Recycle some toys to share with others.
- Read a Christmas book to your sister.
- Light a candle and say a prayer for a loved one far away.
- Take food to a local food pantry.
- Take a trip to get the Christmas Tree.
- Go see Santa.
- Go look at Christmas lights & drink hot cocoa.
- Make thank you notes before they are needed.
- Write a list of 10 things you are thankful for this year. Share with your Grandma
ANOTHER COOL IDEA
Doris, one of the super creative members of the Designer Digitals team, used the PNG files on top of photos to create this set of Advent cards that she'll be hanging on some branches in her home. She originally emailed asking me to make some more hand-drawn Christmas boxes where the words were farther down on the box - leaving room for a cute face. Thanks for the inspiration Doris!
I hope you all have a great weekend!