Hello, December! I can't believe you are already here! As you can tell I've been on a holiday decorating kick the past few months. And although we still have quite a bit of Christmas decorations to make, the advent calendar was on the top of my list. I feel like we haven't had a proper Christmas for a few years. In 2008 we were living in Korea and celebrated Christmas in Thailand of all places and last year we were in temporary housing so we didn't have a tree or many decorations. And although we are happy just being together as a family during the holidays this year I want to make up for the past few years of nonexistent or sub par holiday decorations.
Although I've made a few different advent calendars over the years I decided to make a new one this year. I originally wanted to sew together a cute linen advent calendar like this, but decided to go the easy route and use little kraft boxes with removable lids. I picked up the boxes at our local paper supply store and thought I had the clever idea of using my old Martha Stewart rub on transfer numbers. I finished boxes 1-13 [photograph below--top left] and realized I did not have enough numbers to finish the project. After four different trips to various craft + paper stores [I couldn't find the same transfers and didn't like my other options] I thought I settled on using vinyl adhesive numbers from the office supply store. But upon numbering boxes 1-4 [photograph below--top right] I decided I wasn't in love with the look.
I finally settled on printing out numbers on to white sticker paper and adhering it to the box tops. I think the fact that it was way past my bedtime really helped me commit to this design. I secured the boxes to a white linen covered pin board [leftover from our Halloween decorations] using two thumbtacks. Today the boys received little Japanese animal erasers.
I picked up some simple office supplies [cute paper clips, washi tape, scotch tape--which is a hot commodity in casa shim, white pens, black post-its] to place inside the boxes. On some days they will receive a small + simple gift.
And on other days there will be a slip of paper with a family activity written on it. I love this intentional and dedicated family time during the busy holiday season.
And I think it is the boys' favorite thing about the advent calendar.
Of course a little peppermint taffy also makes them happy!
UPDATE // Thank you to everyone who has blogged/tweeted/pinned this post. You can also find my new work, including holiday decorating ideas, over at my new blog SALLYJSHIM.