Sunday, 1 December 2013

On the first day of Christmas: an advent calendar tutorial

Last December I heard tales of woe from a friend whose kids were waking at 4am, so eager were they to open their chocolate advent calendars. Recently, we've cut sugar right down in T's diet, partly in a bid to reduce the congestion in his system (hoping to improve his hearing) and partly to calm down his behaviour. It's been working.

So this year we've avoided chocolate advent calendars altogether, instead buying a Lego one and making our own as well.

For this simple advent calendar, you will need:
Brown paper / paper bags / envelopes
Luggage labels
Card / little presents
Drawing pins
Ribbons / bakers twine / other decorative bits and bobs

To make:
Match treats to days (we already have some fun Christmassy stuff planned so this is what each envelope will contain).
Match treats to wrapping, write out your numbers on the wrapping or on luggage labels.
Wrap treats or write out little postcards and seal in individual envelopes / paper bags; attach corresponding labels using festive ribbon or twine.
Hang string - we have a giant blackboard that dominates our breakfast room, so this was the obvious place for our advent calendar. You could also use a mantlepiece, mirror or beam, or hang a large branch over the table.
Peg each individual package to the string.
Add snippets of foliage - I used rose hips, ivy, rosemary and chilean potato vine - either under the pegs or glue-gunned to the pegs themselves. I also added a couple of glittered acorn cups for added sparkle.

If you need some ideas for what might go into each package, here's a list of our treats:
1. Visit to a Christmas market
2. Chocolate coin
3. Lego
4. Make gingerbread biscuits
5. Chocolate snowman
6. Put up little trees in boys' bedroom
7. Christmas party
8. Christmas tree shopping / decorating
9. Chocolate coin
10. Moshi monsters
11. Watch a Christmas film
12. A message from FC
13. Make paper chains
14. Lunch out
15. Make a gingerbread house
16. Chocolate coin
17. Stickers
18. Wind-up toy
19. Bubbles
20. Tea by candlelight
21. Make reindeer food
22. Make hot chocolate
23. A decoration for the tree
24. Ice skating

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