I channeled my inner Martha Stewart the other day and came up with my own homemade advent calendar for our family. It was pretty awesome…just sayin’.
First, I made 24 advent envelopes. This was super easy since I found a website that has free printable wrapping paper: http://gift-wrapit.com. They have 12 patterns for Christmas which is perfect because I just printed 2 copies of each.
And my envelopes are about as simple as you can get:
Fold the paper so the seam is in the back and tape.
Fold up the bottom edge and tape.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy
So…I whipped up 24 of these and then added numbers on the front made from left over christmas cards. I was out of card stock but this worked just as well.
Now the question was how and where to hang them since there’s not a ton of open wall space in our house. But I found the perfect place…the hall closet! It’s just a big white canvas so what better place to put them. I rummaged around in my sewing/craft drawers and found some green ribbon. Perfect!
I measured the envelopes against the door and figured that I could fit 4 in each row. So I cut 6 lengths of green ribbon and used sealing tape to secure it to the inside of the door. Then I used clothes pins to hold the envelopes in place…viola! Country Christmas Chic. (I think).
The harder part of the whole thing was trying to figure out what to fill them with. I didn’t want to spent a lot of money on things and I didn’t really want to give the kids more ‘stuff’ to clutter up the house. So…here’s what I came up with:
1. a few pieces of candy
2. Christmas magnets
4. Bookmarks (homemade)
6. Date Day/Christmas Shopping Trip Coupons (homemade)
8. Lip balms
10. Dairy Queen Coupons (homemade)
12. Scrapbooking Stickers (girls) and Fishing Lure (boy)
14. Do Not Disturb Doorhangers (homemade)
16. Bracelets (girls) and Fishing Lure (boy)
18. Movie passes to Northern Lights Pub (already had these on hand)
20. Family Game Night (homemade)
22. Silly Puddy (who doesn’t like that?!?!)
24. Polar Express Movie Night (homemade)
So…you can see that I went the easy route and put a few pieces of candy or a candy cane in every other day. I just couldn’t buy/make enough things to fill out all 24 days. I bought a few things (lip balm, lures, silly puddy) but most of the other items I made on my computer. The bookmarks were made in Word and printed on high gloss brochure paper that I already had on hand. I personalized them for each kid and they loved ’em!
The Date Day coupons, DQ coupons and doorhangers were all made in Word from existing templates that I just personalized to each kid and printed on that same brochure paper. The kids love to go to DQ but I never let them order anything they want…usually they have a few options and the sizes are all smalls. This coupon lets them order something of their choice although Mom gets to OK the size.
The movie passes were things we already had on hand. We won them last March at the kids’ school fundraising auction and hadn’t used them yet. Since they expire this month it was a perfect item to add to the envelopes. The other two homemade items were the Family Game Night announcement and the Polar Express Movie Night.
The Family Game night is a big thing because although we like the idea of boardgames, the reality is that they are never as fun as you think they are going to be. I desperately want to be that family that sits around the table and enjoys that quality time together. And sometimes we get it. But more often than not, it degenerates into an evening of grumpy kids or fights. It’s not pretty but it’s the truth. So, I’m going to make this particular game night work even if it kills me….or them. We will have a good night, dammit.
The final envelope is the The Polar Express Movie Night which is our Christmas Eve tradition. We let the kids open one present on Christmas Eve and it’s always new PJs. Then we all put on the new PJs, pop some popcorn and make hot cocoa and watch The Polar Express. That makes a perfect 24th envelope!
It has been an almighty win in every way! Didn’t cost much, made it in a short amount of time and my family absolutely loves it! And it has been a great addition to our Christmas traditions. Way to go me!