I'm admittedly not very good at advent calendars. Rather, I'm not very good at the routine of opening each envelope every day and so days may pass before I remind the kids. And it might be because of their ages or the fact that mom hasn't made a big enough ritual out of the whole process, but the kids have been no better at reminding me in the past. For the past couple of years I made a simple red and green paper chain advent calendar with 24 rings on it and a bible verse attached to each ring that tells the Story of Christmas, from the day Gabriel appeared before Mary to the birth of Jesus. Even something as simple as a paper chain I wasn't very good at though.
This year though I wanted to start over and give the advent calendar the good ol' college try. I think Taylor is finally at the age now where she will hopefully remind me, plus, if I make a big enough calendar and put it in a prominent place, perhaps we would actually remember to joyfully anticipate the advent ritual and each passing day leading up to Christmas. I found the above calendar on Pinterest and I fell in love. The simplicity of it is just perfection. My friend Mary fell in love with it too so we decided to make them together. We ran around yesterday gathering supplies and we'll assemble them tonight. She found a local place where we could buy the kraft jewelry boxes in bulk (100 for $24) and pick them up. If I ever planned ahead I could have had them shipped, but as always, I like to do things the hard way and at the last minute ;) The only adjustment we're making to the original is instead of attaching them with push pins, we're using small pieces of velcro so no tiny pins get lost around the house (Mary has 1 year old twins who still hunt around on the ground for small shiny things). Brilliant idea right?
I'm sure most of you are much better about this and more prepared than I, and if so, you certainly don't need my help. But if by chance you are scrambling to get an advent calendar up in the next 2 days, I thought I'd share this idea. And hey, even if you just want to make a simple paper chain with the Christmas Story countdown attached, you can download my format here on the site. Simply click on the link below and you'll get all 24 verses. They are formatted in a Word label document so you can print them on labels and stick them onto the paper chain, or just print them on pieces of paper and cut out, which is what we're planning to do, and stick them in each box.
download labels here
I'll share the final results in a couple of days when we're done. I'm really excited now and hope this is a firm start of a new tradition. A reminder to stop, slow down and remember each day why we're really celebrating the season. A good lesson in intentionality that's for sure.
So are you guys good about an Advent calendar, or are you more like me?