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