Last year was our first year celebrating Advent w/the littles and we bought Playmobil’s pre-filled Advent calendar. While it was cute and the littles loved opening a new toy each day, Malcolm being mobile and putting everything into his mouth right now necessitates keeping small pieces picked up. What’s the fun of getting new, small toys, if you can’t play with them? And what’s the fun of an Advent calendar when only 3/4 of the participants can enjoy it?
I decided I wanted to make one. But what to do? Cloth bags? Envelopes? A wooden Advent Spiral? Pockets on a larger picture? Finally, I found one that I really liked on Etsy. Inspired by this, Dan got involved, and designed ours.
We ended up filling it with activities and experiences written on cards of something that we’ll that day. The littles colored the cut out backs and Dan and I assembled them over a couple of nights. I say “we” but it was mostly Dan as I was stuck under a sick nursling most of that time.
We hung it in front of the fireplace and being youngest, Malcolm got to open the first day (with a little help from Dan). It was a little card that read “Find the Snowmen”. I bought a small statue of two snowmen by a streetlight and each night we’ll move it to a new place and each morning it will be an adventure to discover where those sneaky snowmen have gone.
The littles are excited to open each day (they’re taped shut so they can’t peek ahead) and I can rest easy, knowing that a season of fun experiences await and all I have to do is pull out the supplies the night before, no rushing around to find the glitter here, the glue there while 3 impatient littles wait for me to get my act together. An all around great thing!
One year I’ll make it look very elegant out of red cardstock and emboss the day on them in gold. Or blue & silver. Or not. I like the thought of the littles decorating each day with their pictures. And if Mrs. Claus has 11 fingers*, well I’ll hang it anyway.
*Vague reference to Frank Cross in Scrooged