Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Traditions: Advent Calendar

I have been searching high and low for the perfect Advent Calendar since hubs and I got married nearly 9 years ago, a tradition I've wanted to add but haven't been able to. Everything I find is either too expensive or just not what I'm looking for. I finally found the "perfect" Advent Calendar at Target this year.

The problem with this particular Advent Calendar was more than one problem. It was shaped like a little wooden house, and the "roof", which was made of pine cones, had some missing pieces. One of the little wooden doors had a missing knob. And there were scratches in the paint. It was the last one they had, and the product had been discontinued, so I knew that I couldn't come back later to see if they had any more.

Since it was damaged and the last Advent Calendar in stock, I could have gotten a 10% discount off the price. It was also on sale, so under normal conditions, that would have been an excellent deal to get an extra 10% off.

But I had to weigh the pros & cons. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. And I haven't loved ANY of the Advent Calendars I've come across (I'm rather picky!).

So I decided that I couldn't wait any longer, and I made my own advent calendar.

I have a shadow box frame that I bought last year, which I had painted in a crackle finish and added embellishments like the wooden "Family" word and the ribbon. On the inside of the shadow box, I glued down a sheet of magnetic paper. For the past year, I've had a "scrapbooked" style family photo there.

I decided to change this shadow box into an Advent Calendar for this season. I took out the family photo, and put up a sheet of scrapbook paper that had the numbers 1 through 25, as you can see in the picture. Since the paper behind was magnetic, I added a few magnets. Two of the magnets hold the numeric paper onto the magnetic paper. The third magnet, a Christmas tree, is for the date. The kids take turns each morning moving the Christmas tree to the number that corresponds with the current date on the calendar.

Thus, a homemade Advent Calendar!

My plan is to use it this year, and continue looking for the "perfect" one. If hubs were a carpenter, instead of an electrician, I'd ask him to make one for me like the one I saw at Target. Alas, he is not. So the search will continue, but at least I have a jump start to finally including the Advent Calendar as one of our holiday traditions. And I can keep the numerical scrapbook paper, so I can pull it out again next year if I still don't find what I'm looking for. :)

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