January 05, 2010

After the Holidays - Don't lose the meaning

After the holidays, I always find the best projects that I *wish* I completed. However, I also realize that time is always a crunch around the holidays. So maybe if I complete projects AFTER the holidays, I will be ready for NEXT season!

I adore the idea of an advent calendar. During the holiday season, when it should be about family and good-will, the shopping and frustration of weather/financial woes usually takes over. I feel like around the holidays, friends and loved ones take back seat until days before the actual holiday. Odd, right?

I think maybe instead of using an advent calendar to count down the days till Christmas with small trinkets, the prize inside the box should include doing special tasks/fun dates for those around you. That way, you don't lose focus of what is important - your family and friends.

This is the list I came up with for each day:

Dec 1 Watch It's a Wonderful Life, make spiced cider.
Dec 2 Put up a ribbon sash for Christmas cards

Dec 3 Put up a wreath/decorate

Dec 4 Make Thick Hot Chocolate and Homemade Marshmallows

Dec 5 Leave out wooden shoes

Dec 6 Attend City tree lighting event

Dec 7 Host a Christmas dessert party/Sweater Party

Dec 8 Sign up to purchase gifts for a needy child

Dec 9 Go to Borders and Pick out one new Christmas CD

Dec 10 Donate canned goods

Dec 11 Make Christmas craft

Dec 12 Find Christmas Tree

Dec 13 Make a Gingerbread House

Dec 14 Have a full traditional breakfast while listening to Christmas music

Dec 15 Address and mail Christmas cards

Dec 16 Have a movie party (classic Christmas clips)

Dec 17 Donate old clothing

Dec 18 Make Christmas cookies/Wrap gifts

Dec 19 Make hot chocolate and read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Dec 20 Give neighbors a present

Dec 21 Drive around to see neighborhood lights while listening to Christmas carols

Dec 22 Have a romantic candlelit dinner by the Christmas tree

Dec 23 Tell stories of childhood Christmas around the fire

Dec 24 Find Mistletoe, hang it in our house and kiss under it.

Dec 25 Spend time with those you love

The creative part would be how to display this? Would you fold these festive ideas into squares and place them in a glass jar? Would you build a box with 25 little cubbies so they each have their own space? Would you use a muffin tin and decorate the metal? So many ideas, yet you only need one way!

These are different designs I found...and maybe next year I will use one!

This fabulous design was stamped by Fresh & Fun.

She used metal tins, stamps, and velcro tape. I think my favorite part of this design is the font used. Anyone at work knows I do love a good font! (so sad, I know.) Her tutorial seems easy, that it makes me want to do a countdown for birthdays!

The above circle advent calendar brings out the seamstress in you....or will just make you feel bad about your lack of seaming skills. She Knits Shizknits gives a tutorial of how to make this lil booger. http://www.allsorts.typepad.com/ also has some really snazzy sewing patterns.

This was an advent calendar made on Etsy - but it seems easy enough (ha!). I like that each day looks different....it is colorful and friendly!

I will end on this note from FAO Schwarz. This advent HOUSE is worth over a grand, but how beautifully detailed.....

and I quote "A festive red Tudor style house with 24 turning windows, the Advent Calendar honours the 150 year old German tradition. Heirloom-quality ensures that generations of children will delight in revealing the scenes behind each window. A perfect display for on the mantle, the hand painted figures offer a simple traditional elegance. A fabulous new tradition for any family the German Advent Calendar will make counting down the days an event in itself. Buy it for a price of $1,125 from FAO Schwarz."

That would look beautiful, but since it's a grand....and I don't have that in my budget for the holiday...I better get my saw and drill out. Looks like I have a mini mansion to build!


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