Advent Calendar With A Difference.
This Advent season I wanted to make my own Calendar to count down to Christmas, every year the kids have had a lovely chocolate advent calendar, with a small excerpt each day of the Christmas Story. The one we have enjoyed is by Divine Chocolate, and its the only chocolate one we have ever come across that actually promotes the true message of Advent.
Advent is a season of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and as many of our kids will be putting on school Nativity plays and visiting churches for Carol services, this might for some be the closest they get to any real meaning of Christmas.
Advent actually means 'coming' The coming of a king, Jesus. Its about remembering the birth, and drawing closer daily in our hearts as we approach Christmas day, and anticipating his second coming.
If you were to go online and search for best advent Calendar's you would be bombarded by product and Luxury gift calendars worth a fortune. Whilst these things are all very nice, we're promoting a simpler message. Advent is in essence a time to prepare your heart for this joyful season.
Today I am sharing with you our advent idea, and how we can prepare and cultivate gratefulness and joy filled hearts, for both us and our kids.
I've taken a simple pack of brown envelopes, and stamped them with this pretty design. You could really use any motif for this, and its certainly something your kids could have a go at doing.
I ordered these gold advent numbers from eBay, but you can also pick up Number stickers in most good stationary shops. I sealed each envelope and the trimmed the side with pinking sheers, to make that the opening, like a paper bag.
Because we have three children I've filled each bag with three chocolate goodies, chocolate coins work really well, as do little mini Santa's, or snowmen. Certainly have fun with this bit, and mix it up a little so each day is a surprise.
I stitched each package up on the sewing machine, as it always looks decorative and pretty. If you don't have a sewing machine don't worry, just seal with glue or some pretty washi tape, or a festive sticker.
I cut a large piece of foam board and covered it in festive gift wrap. I am sure some sturdy cardboard would also work well.
tape it all up at the back.
Then I used this pretty twine to make the right number of rows across the tree cut out. Getting your shape right here, is trial and error, you just map it all out before you get cutting, to make sure all your packages will fit just right.
I already had these cute little mini pegs and they were perfect for this project. Each package is pegged onto the string.
If you search online these pegs won't be hard to find, or you could use an ordinary clothes peg.
What makes this idea so fun, and where the cultivating hearts comes in, is this little task my kids will have to do each day. I have created these paper baubles with a little piece of gold washi tape for the hanger. Each day as they remove the package, open it and enjoy the little treat, they will also have to write something on the bauble, to hang in place of the removed package. I've come up with three different idea's, things to pray for, things to promise and things to be thankful for.
I've made an example here to get them started, but they will have to come up with the rest, and it will be great to see what ideas they will have. Its a great little way to take eyes of themselves, and remember this season is more than just getting lots of Christmas presents and chocolate.
I think this advent tree is going to look fantastic with all the colourful baubles, if you follow my instagram, I'll update you about some of the idea's they are happy to share.
I hope that I've helped you to think about this advent season in a new light, and that you enjoy this run up to Christmas with simple joys like this.