Skip to content
November 27, 2013 / staceyj

Christmas is Coming: Advent Calendar

“Christmas is coming!  The goose is getting fat.  Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat.  If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.  If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!”

I usually find myself singing these song lyrics this time of year.  And each year my husband looks at me sideways and says, “There is no way that song is real.  You have totally made it up.”  And then each year I respond with cool confidence, “It is indeed real.  We sang it in high school choir, at our Christmas program, as a round.  It was magical.”  And each year without skipping a beat, my dear husband asks incredulously, “YOU were in choir!?!?”

All singing and kidding aside, there is something really special about this time of year.  The excitement, anticipation, expectancy and joy that comes is worth celebrating…daily!  I created this Advent Calendar so our family can do just that: count down the days to Christmas, hear the amazing Christmas Story and enjoy the wonder of this holiday season.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

In our dining room this simple art installation currently holds center stage on one wall.  It was made with two gorgeous pieces of driftwood my hubby and son brought home from one of their many outdoor adventures, some baker’s twine, and Instagram photos printed on heavy card stock and then glued onto pieces of cardboard.  It is a fun and virtually free way to display some family photos in our home.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

Now picture me standing in front of this piece and think, think, thinking.  The conversation in my sweet little head went a little something like this: “Hey!  We could use this driftwood display piece as a base for our advent calendar.  We could hang bags with treats for each day in December.  And the kids will love it and understand the real meaning of Christmas because I will put a part of the Christmas Story in each bag.  They will not at all focus on the daily treats and instead focus on what really matters.  Oh!  And of course they most certainly won’t fight to the death over the caramel if I accidentally put one Dove Caramel and one Dove Milk Chocolate in December 5th’s bag.  This will be just perfect!”

That little conversation between me, myself and I settled it.  After all, I had already researched and priced several different options for advent calendars and couldn’t find one I was either passionate about and/or could afford so I decided to take craft matters into my own hands and create my own.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

And then after that little stroke of brilliance last year I didn’t do anything but buy these cotton spice/tea bags.  I found these at Whole Foods on a random end cap and snatched them up because I thought they would work perfectly.  And then I put them somewhere very special and enjoyed sledding, books and naps, days at the pool, a family vacation and a dessert or sixty.  And suddenly it was time to think about Christmas and advent calendars again and it was only then that I realized I had no idea where I had put the aforementioned bags.  No clue!  So I spent a good hour turning my house upside down over a span of two days and finally and miraculously found the bags!  Don’t be me.  Buy the bags and make the calendar immediately.  Or better yet…put things away and actually remember where you put them!  You’ll thank me later.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

With my ‘once-lost-and-now-found’ bags in hand, I could finally begin!  Here are the supplies I gathered for this project: Martha Stewart craft paint in Habanero, foam pouncers for applying the paint, stencils, and stencil tape if you want to keep the stencil in place (I ended up not using it).

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

I then cut out a small piece of cardboard to fit inside the goodie bag.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

This step is muy importante if you want to keep the paint from bleeding through your bag.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

I then started stenciling the numbers 1 through 24.  I just eyeballed each one since I was going for a rustic look (rustic = fancy for not perfect).

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

One done and 23 to go!!!!!

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

I was so happy with the way these stenciled bags turned out.  The deep red looks really striking against the natural palette of the bags.  And the best part?  I can reuse these bags year after year.  Oh!  And they hold chocolate really nicely.  Because if we are being really honest here that truly is the most important part, isn’t it?

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

Next step?  I wanted our advent calendar to include the real meaning of Christmas…the Christmas Story.  I had every intention of breaking down the story myself into 24 parts but I decided to first turn to Google and see if anyone had already done it for me.  Voila!  They had!  There are several different options out there but I decided to use this one from double the fun parties.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

This design was simple and pretty….

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

…and matched the color scheme of my advent calendar.  It also reminded me of my daughter’s Candy Cane costume for her upcoming performance of the Nutcracker so we went with it!  I printed the design on heavy card stock and cut out each circle.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

And now the fun part…filling the bags!  As you can see we have sweet teeth around these parts.  Individual sized candies are the perfect size for this advent calendar and the perfect price point.  My whole intent of this project was to keep it affordable and I didn’t want to blow that in the filling process.  I found some gold (chocolate coins) and Christmas stamps in the dollar section at Target.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

I did spend a bit extra to put a small Lego toy in one of the bags since Beaut.two celebrates his birthday in December.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

It fits!  Whew!!!!

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

I also splurged a bit to buy a bottle of nail polish in honor of Beaut.one’s opening night of the Nutcracker.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

To commemorate Christmas Day itself, I took an ornament and wrote Merry Christmas on it in chalk.  I have been recently informed that this is indeed Beaut.one’s favorite part.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

And here is the final product!  I am really pleased with the way it turned out and I can safely say that the entire family is very excited to put it to use this season.

Christmas Project: Advent Calendar

Expectantly waiting for all that lies ahead this season,

Stacey

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: