December 1st rolls around and I’m all ready to get into the Christmas Swing of things. The tree goes up, the Carols are playing (I make sure there’s a new Christmas CD each year to add to the collection), the mess is everywhere with ornament packing, light strands, and all the other decorations that have to go on display throughout our home. I pack away photos and other knick knacks to make room for my ever growing collection of Christmas.

This yep2p Dec PDar, I had a lovely time shopping with my son for a whole entire colour change for the tree – we decided purple, pink and silver would definitely dress up our old tree. We originally went shopping to buy a new Christmas Tree, as ours has lost a couple of limbs over the years – but we couldn’t find the exact tree we wanted – so a makeover was the next best thing. He is 15 1/2 years old – and I was so surprised at his eagerness and enthusiasm when we were shopping – wonderful to have some mother/son time that was thoroughly enjoyable. Of course, all the favourite ornaments that we already have are placed on the tree as well. Daniel & Lauren pick out a special ornament each December to hang on the tree – something that I’ll continue to do with them each and every year – even when they have left home!

Every year we have an Advent Calendar. It started off with the standard “chocolate bought from the store”, versions. While they may have had cute Disney characters on them – the chocolate wasn’t particularly scrummy. We had a Lego Advent Calendar one year – and that was one of the best ever Advent Calendars we have ever had. Then I stepped into the world of Scrapbooking and Creative Memories. I started to make my own Advent Calendars. With the introduction of the 12×12” and 8×8” Everyday Displays, there was no looking  back. Gone were the “yukky chocolate” Advent Calendars – and in came the “home made, designed by Mum” Advent Calendars. The children thought that it was heaven. Each day – there’d be special treats hung from the ribbon, and they’d change the days and the countdown was on!

I can’t resist making a new one each year. I eagerly await the release of the new Creative Memories Christmas Products each year so I can start creating. My first few home made Advent Calendars were made traditionally with paper, trimmers, tape runner, sticker & die-cut packs and ABC/123 Stickers. Now of course, it’s so much easier with Storybook – especially when it comes to the countdown numbers. Duplicating pages, and copy and pasting on the computer is far less messy – and a faster approach, but still remains full of the personal touch.

Treats that I hang from the calendar can be personally chosen by me for that extra special touch of love and giving. I mix everything up to include a wide variety of little treats thaChristmas 2011t can be Christmas Chocolates, Gummy Bears, Gingerbread, Candy Canes and anything sweet! In amongst all the edible treats, I also hang Movie Tickets and Novelties (like LED Torches, Glow Sticks, inexpensive friendship bands, bookmarks). Personally made vouchers for DVD/Movie night, 10 pin bowling or other events make great treats to hang from the Advent Calendar. This is what I love about making our own Advent – it is much more personal, my children (even though they are teenagers now) appreciate the thought that goes into each morning’s treat, it creates lasting memories, and celebrates each day of December leading up to Christmas Day.

Here is my Christmas Gift to you – instructions on how I created this year’s Advent Calendar.

advent calendar for pdf

You might like to watch the Be Dazzled Workshop and Font Clouds Video Tidbit to get some great hints and tips to helping create your very own Advent Calendar.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas full of love, laughter and happiness for this festive season and always!

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7 Responses to Every morning, right through to Christmas Day

  1. KellyK says:

    This was such a fun project. I just finished mine and I can’t wait to start it on the 12th day before Christmas!

  2. Maureen says:

    Oh Janice – this is such a great idea! Now all I need is kids at home (mine are all grown and gone)..but wait! I think I might just do this next year for my husband! So fun! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Janice says:

    The “recipe” for all the kits and fonts I used are on the last page of the pdf. The font on the countdown cards is Cafe Rojo. I have used SB4 to create the Advent Calendar – and the numbers have been created by using the Insert/Text Shape feature – with a transparent fill, and a double line.

    Glad you like the Advent Calendar – All the numbers are nearly used up now – I can’t wait for Christmas morning, and neither can the kids!!!

  4. neufeld says:

    What font did you use for the numbers on the day cards?

  5. fwalker says:

    Love this for next year!!! I like the idea of other things besides candy too!

  6. lizpropst says:

    This looks so fun …I’m thinking I just may have to purchase the nativity digi kit for this project. Thanks Pixie Janice for a terrific idea!

  7. Mary says:

    Great idea and absolutely beautiful…I see one coming in the future for my grandson next year…At least I’ll be ahead!

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