We are not religious and don't celebrate the actual season of advent. Last year I put together a countdown calendar with the intention of celebrating the holiday season in general and making sure I was present with my girls at a very busy time of year. In addition to small treats (a candy cane, a chocolate snowman) and stocking stuffer type objects (Christmas themed pencils and socks), I was sure to include activities and experiences. A winter walk and instant cocoa. Ornaments signaling a trip to pick out the Christmas tree. A book of carols to learn and sing together. Last year was about the plan and the content. The execution left something to be desired.
(Though the bulletin board was useful for holiday cards as the bags got used up.)
This year I decided to repeat the plan from last year, and even some of the content -- yes, we have Christmas socks again, and a winter walk with cocoa. Having the days figured out left me a little more time to make the calendar itself.
I took brown paper lunch bags and put a number on each one. The numbers were freehand cut out from some holiday themed scrapbook paper that I picked up at Target.
I simply glued them on in a jaunty fashion using a glue stick.
I made the decision this year to have the numbers correspond to the day they are opened on, rather than starting from one. Last year it got really confusing because the numbers were just off by a day or two, so we were opening bag one on December 3.
To attach them to the wall, I simply used blue sticky stuff on the lightweight ones (like December 24, which has photographs of my husband and I on Christmas eve when we were kids).
For the heavier ones I used command strips.
On day one, the girls decided they wanted to keep the tree intact, so we have been carefully removing the staples and re-sticking the empty bags to the wall each day.
The girl LOVE starting their day opening the bag.
Christmas is soon. How are you counting down?