Is it just me or is everyone really on top of things with their holiday stuffs this year? There’s a tree in almost every window of every house in our neighborhood.
We’ll get there…just not until December starts.
In the meantime, I’ve been yet again influenced by the creative peoples of Pinterest. Combine that with having an little sweetums at the perfect age to be wowed by pretty twinkly lights, glowing trees, and all things merry – it’s a perfect recipe for some craftiness. I think I’ve mentioned before that crafting – or really anything that could be considered artsy (sewing, painting, scrapbooking) – is not my strong suit. I’m a well below-average at this sort of stuff. Most often I get in way over my head, lose patience with a project halfway through, and then usually messes it up royally.
In any event, I’ve been seeing lots of neat holiday projects on Pinterest lately and was inspired to make something easy-ish: a DIY Advent Calendar.
My first step was to list out a bunch of easy-to-do toddler activities for the month of December, and figure out which days we could accomplish them. And, on days where I knew that we’d have no time, or when couldn’t think of anything, I just listed “treat” – meaning Lyla will get a chocolate instead.
I picked up some supplies at Michaels – gotta love those 40% off coupons. Here’s a blurry photo of my haul – total cost of about 10 bucks:
Red craft paint
Pad of holiday cardstock
I already had a bunch of burlap on hand (leftover from when we briefly thought we might use it to line the back of some Ikea shelving.)
I cut up the burlap into tiny squares, borrowing one of Lyla’s mega blocks to trace a square and then using that as a template to cut out the rest. It’s burlap so it didn’t need to be perfect. In fact, I was sort of going for a rustic look. Once all the squares were cut out, I ironed them flat, and then stenciled on numbers 1 through 24 with a foam brush and red craft paint. When everything was dry I picked out the cardstock I wanted from the pad (it already came in this size) and taped a burlap square to the front of each piece. I typed up and printed out my activities on some shipping labels, then stuck one to the back of each card (which makes it easy to move them around or put a different label right over the top in future years).
I then grabbed some twine and hung two rows, 12 days each, using Dollar Tree clothespins.
Voila! (Don’t mind my blank, blank walls – someday we’ll get some art in here.)
The back of the cards look like this:
And here’s the full list of December doings – I reserve the right to change these, skip over them, or substitute chocolate instead:
Dec 1 | Go to a Christmas parade
Dec 2 | Make snowflakes.
Dec 3 | Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas.
Dec 4 |Drink hot cocoa with marshmallows.
Dec 5 |Sing Jingle Bells.
Dec 6 |Wear a Christmas shirt
Dec 7 |Pick out a tag from the angel tree and buy a gift for someone in need.
Dec 8 | Jingle Bell Run
Dec 9 | See Gingerbread houses
Dec 10 | Eat snowman pancakes for dinner
Dec 11 | Treat!
Dec 12 | Help decorate the tree.
Dec 13 |Slow dance in front of the lit Christmas tree.
Dec 14 | Bake cookies
Dec 15 | Go see lots of Christmas lights
Dec 16 | Treat!
Dec 17 |Kiss mommy and daddy under the mistletoe.
Dec 18 | Buy Murray a holiday treat
Dec 19 |Wear Christmas socks
Dec 20 | Take a photo of Murray wearing reindeer antlers
Dec 21 | Make handprint ornaments
Dec 22 | Watch Elf
Dec 23 | Go sledding (I’m obviously hoping for a white Christmas)
Dec 24 | Unwrap a present from under the tree
Let the holiday season begin.