....... begin with your own DIY Advent Calendar
Let's face it. Christmas can be a crazy time of year: countless parties, frenetic shopping, wrapping presents, decorating home and Christmas tree.... crazy busy.
Ease up a little, this year. Start a new family tradition. Explore the Christmas story a little each day as you prepare to welcome the Saviour. Share together the excitement of counting down the days to Christmas with a handcrafted Advent Calendar. Use this as an opportunity to retell the real Christmas story of the hope, peace, joy and love to be found in the Saviour in the manger.
Open a box each day
This Advent Calendar uses small numbered boxes to measure the countdown to Christmas. And you know how much kids love opening boxes and peeking inside! The calendar has a Christmas cooking theme so pop a small wrapped biscuit/cookie in each box plus a piece of your nativity scene. ( I used bought cookies but you can make your own if you wish.)
Set the scene with some Christmas music and read part of the Christmas story each day as one more box is opened.
Please note if you have small children...
If you have small children, pop the wrapped biscuits & nativity scene figures into the appropriate box just before you're ready to open it. Otherwise, you'll find all the boxes opened and the contents consumed as soon as your back is turned.
Each day, build anticipation of Christmas Day and the birth of Christ. As the box is opened, ask if the baby Jesus is inside. Build you nativity scene piece by piece as another figure is found in the box and added to your scene.
So.... what will you need to make your Advent Calendar?
You'll need a wooden craft kit. I picked mine up at Kmart but you can find them at most craft shops. Kaiser Crafts have some lovely options. While the outer frame is wood, the small boxes are heavy-weight card.
I painted all my pieces white but you can use any colour or even cover them with Christmas paper or scrapbook pages. (Brush watered-down PVA glue onto the surfaces if you want to use paper. Smooth the paper to ensure the paper is sticking without any air bubbles.)
Your kit should come with assembly instructions but you'll find it's straight forward to make.
Download and print the file below for the square images for the front of the boxes. You may need to resize the images depending on your boxes. I've created the file in A4 or A3. Just download which you need and print.
Cut out the squares and glue to the front of each small box. I used a glue stick for this.
Finally, decorate the top of your Advent Calendar with Christmas ribbons and decorative picks. Use low-temp glue gun to anchor these accents to the top of your Advent Calendar.
Make the Advent Calendar and experience together the wonder of the Christmas season; or make a calendar for your grandkids.
Key takeaways from this article
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.