Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cute Christmas Craft Project--Homemade Advent Calendar

On my previous post, I mentioned that I have a Craft Disorder, so the fact that I was able to pull this next thing together, which was from the Queen of All Crafts, Martha--yes, that Martha, still amazes me. And I realize we're already 17 days into December, so you might want to wait until next year to try it. Or if you have more than one child, you could have them catch up by taking turns opening up multiple days. Anyway, I apologize for posting this so late, but if any of you are just dying for something to cure your Cabin Fever, you could try it.

Like my friend Allison has been posting, it's often hard to help children get the concept of waiting until Christmas Day for all the presents. So this year since Kyra is old enough to understand presents, but doesn't quite get the waiting, I thought it might be nice to have an Advent Calendar. That way, we can count down the days until Christmas, as well as practice counting numbers, and if we're very lucky, even get a little sweet or treat as well.

So around November 29th or so--nothing like planning ahead, right???--I started looking in the stores for an Advent Calendar, but never found just the right one. Either they were way too old for our 2 yr old, or really, really expensive.

I decided to search online for "homemade advent calendars" because you can find anything on the internet, and lo and behold, hundreds of sites popped up. Some were so beyond me though, I thought, "Yikes, that would take me the whole month just to complete"--remember NOT crafty!

But then I stumbled onto a mom-friendly site that had lots of different calendar options, one of which was a link to an old Martha Stewart article, which used baby socks, ribbon, mini-clothespins, and stickers to make the most adorable advent calendar. Finally, something I could do! And best of all, the only things I had to go out and buy were the mini-clothespins (found them at Michael's), and the ribbon. And amazingly enough, I still had 24 baby socks of Kyra's that she'd outgrown, and that hadn't found their way to the consignment shop!!!

This was a great family project, because David hung the ribbon for us, using a few small nails every so often along the length, and Kyra helped me put the number stickers on each sock--good counting practice! Then we attached each sock to the ribbon, using the little clothes pins.

Now what would an advent calendar be, without a treat for each day??? When we were growing up, ours always had chocolate behind every door. This was my intent as well, so I went to Costco and bought their bag of truffles, because I knew everyone liked them. Then during Kyra's nap, I filled each sock with a truffle, and we were set.

December 1st came, and Kyra opened Sock #1. She squealed with delight as she found the chocolate inside. Then the practical Mommy side of me woke up, and said, "Do I really want to give this child 24 days of chocolate?" So the following day we needed to go to Fred Meyer anyway for some groceries, and there I bought some small candy canes, little hair barrettes and a couple of cute bracelets to mix things up a little bit.

Day 2 came, and Kyra was again so excited to open up that day's sock. However, this time it was a set of hair barrettes. You should have seen her little face...."Where's the chocolate?!?!", as the tears were rolling down her face. So I explained that not every day will have chocolate; some days there will be other really fun stuff. I don't think she bought it.

Anyway, here we are at Day 17, and the Advent Calendar fun is still going strong--today was a Chocolate day, so we were especially excited :-) I've posted a couple pictures below so you can see our little calendar. And the best thing is you can use it year after year.

Check out the frown...
No more pictures, Mom, just let me eat the chocolate!

Enjoy the snow, and stay dry & warm!



Stephanie said...

so... do i call you jeff or martha? :) that is SUCH a great idea!! i also have been thinking of advent calenders for next year (wasn't on the ball this year..oops!. i have been looking online as well, but hadn't seen this!!

you are becoming quite the miss crafty during this snowy weather! good for you!!


Melinda said...

It is adorable. Nice solution!

Anonymous said...

It's awesome! I simply love this sock advent calendar. Another fun craft to add to my list of Christmas craft ideasfor my kids to make. We'll be definitely making this next year.