Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Countdown to Christmas: Advent Calendars

When we invited Traci to do a couple of posts on advent calendars and fun ways to count down to Christmas, we never imagined she'd come back with so many unique, creative, darling ideas. You're in for a Holiday treat of epic proportions! My guess is that more than a few of you will be visiting your local craft stores and pulling out your glue guns tonight. Thanks so much for being here, Traci, and for sharing so many wonderful ideas...

Advent (from the Latin word advenio, meaning "to come", "the coming of Christ our saviour") is a holy season of the Christian church, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ, also known outside of the Church as the season of Christmas" [from wikipedia.com] Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on December 24th.

Until a few years ago, whenever I thought about advent calendars, tacky cardboard and nasty wax chocolates came to mind. And although those store bought disposable advents bring back great memories, I now have seen the "advent calendar" light. For that past couple of years I have been obsessed with advents - store bought, homemade, or purchased from someone else who crafted it, whatever the case may be. I think advent calendars are such a fun way to count down to whichever holiday you celebrate this season.

Store Bought Advents are great; this is where my obsession began.
Here are a few I found this season:

I adore these buckets of joy from Garnet Hill. And! *alert!* they're on major sale right now - $24 - down from nearly $70!! Jump on it!

Pottery Barn has a few options this year. Always classy.

And finally, this one, which would be great
for the kids' room(s) and would be so much fun to put together.

Now on to the seemingly endless options in the realm of Homemade Advents:

I found this matchbox advent on marthastewart.com last year that was fun and cheap to make.

Martha's instructions are simple enough so I will just let you follow the master.

This cork board advent came from an article from Women's Day, which I was unable to link to, so you will just have to be inspired by the picture.

Another cute, simple and green (!) idea from Woman's Day:

would you believe those are empty toilet paper rolls? Instructions here.

Here are the others that I found. Get ready to catch the advent calendar bug! These are awesome...

I'll start with my favorite from Design Mom. Who wouldn't want to open a tiny Christmas present for 25 days in a row?

Em found this great one at Inchmark.
Simple and charming.

(You'll want to visit Brooke at Inchmark
to view all three posts about this advent).

This is a garland found at Just Something I Made.
You put messages around old wooden thread spools.

Martha's to thank for this next one.

It makes me wish I had a mantle.
(And that all my single socks were polka-dotted and holiday-colored...)

I think this one is up near the top of my favorites for creativity.
It comes from My Little Mochi. It's made from gum packets!

A simple one from Design Sponge.

And. In case you're not feeling inspired yet, here are a few more links:

Tip Junkie is always a good place to get your creative juices flowing.
Here are a few more advents from Garnet Hill.
Some simple ones from Found Paper Co.
And check out these other ones from Design Mom. LOVE the boxes!

Now for those of you who are wondering "what do I put in my advent calendars?" . . . Clickie here.


Sally said...

What cute ideas! We just might have to do an advent this year.

Abbie said...

Dec 1st I am so making the one on cork with the little boxes (if I can find all the supplies). Love these - so cute!

Anna said...

thanks for sharing the advent calendars, fun! I can't wait to see what you come up with to put inside!

Ashley said...

I bought that first one you have pictured last year! Look what it is now though! http://lilblueboo.blogspot.com/2009/11/eminent-domain-for-puppies.html Thanks for all the other ideas...I love the envelopes by Design Sponge....I might just have to do that one until I get mine back!

Steph said...

Oooooo, I love the corkboard one. I'd better get cracking on finding some match boxes!

LJ said...

I love advent calendars, too. I'm going to try and make a felt one this year, so thanks for the inspiration and links!

Jonesy said...

This is one of those times I'm really grateful I have 5 kids. Now I absolutely must make 5 advent calendars. Guess I better get started on that.

Linds said...

Target has a cute and simple felt one in the $1 spot (it's actually $2.50). I'm excited to hear your ideas for what to put inside!

Trina said...

Wow! I LOVE all the ideas! Thanks Traci!!

Spiresfam said...

Steph- don't wander all over town looking for matchboxes like I did last year. I finally found some at Walmart in the isle with all the spatulas and cheese graters. I have seen them since at some local grocery stores but I would check Walmart first.

RootsAndWingsCo said...

Oh, we love advent calendars. What a great collection of them here.

Rebecca of the R&W Gals

Jen said...

My mother LOVES advent calendars. Our favorite is the advent candle she gets every year, which is a tall taper numbered from 1 to 25 and decorated with Christmassy motifs. We take turns lighting it each night and watching it burn down to the next number. And now that some of us are grown, she buys us each one to burn at our houses too. Such a fun way to count down!

tiffany said...

I have been thinking about our advent calendar for the last couple days so this was some perfect inspiration! I am new to your blog and love the modern fresh look and info!

celestejohnson said...

Our family has an interesting Advent calendar. We started it in 2004. We got married August of that year and each had two kids from our previous marriages. So since we were combining a blended family, we decided that we needed something to do that would be a new tradition. Each year the kids look forward to it.

I use one of those shoe tree things that hang on the back of a door and I buy throughout the year little toys and things. Then a couple days before December, I wrap up the trinkets, number the presents and place them randomly in the show pockets and then stick it on the front of my bedroom door. The kids LOVE to look at which one they will get to open. On December 1st, one kid opens the present and if there are choices to be made (like color it item) they get to choose first and then it goes in age order. Sometimes there are things like new cups (the 50 cent ones with cartoon characters on it from WalMart) or just candy. Once in a while, I will plan so a DVD will be in the mix and make sure it gets opened on a weekend.

We love this tradition.

Lori said...

I love the matchbox advent in the apothecary jars? Where did you find those? Thanks.

calendars said...

Personalized calendar is indeed a great idea for Christmas gifts. Not only that it's useful the whole year round but it also serves as an accessory to your room.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add an idea for the advent made from toilet tissue rolls. Since my boys were little, now for my grandchildren I have made advents from empty rolls.
I covered each end with tin foil, allows for easy access for the little ones. Then I would put a treat in the roll and wrap the roll in either tin foil or pretty papper. After filling and wrapping I would stack and glue the rolls in the shape of an xmas tree, then decorate it. Not only an advent for the kids but a nice table top center piece.