I hope you got inspired by my Advent Calendar story in the November issue of Martha Stewart Living, and have ordered striped bags for the kids, bought little gifts to fill them with and printed numbers for a loved adult's photo calendar.
I realized this weekend, that I hadn't done any of the above .... sometimes when working on Christmas in July, Thanksgiving one year in advance and on Mothersday when it's time to prepare for your own Christmas ... well, it's difficult to keep all those Holidays straight. Not having an Advent Chain is not an option for my kids (as you know, having read the story), so I scrambled one together this weekend and am glad that it still worked out quite nicely.
Last year I thought it could be fun to pin a calendar page of a 'today is' calendar to each of the packages ... needless to say I forgot to buy that calendar in time and now there aren't any 2011 ones left. So instead I printed out 24 mini calendars and circled a day on each. One problem solved. I had a few red bags left, and figured brown paper lunch bags would have to fill in for the rest. At this point the kids like mostly candy anyway, so the supermarket was a fine place to shop .They even had gift cards. Mini clothes pins were left from last year ; they make this so easy ... no bows, no closures, clipping the calendars on at the same time is great ( and I can sneak presents into those last empty bags before it gets to that day) ... Yeah ! Just in time. The kids will be thrilled.
By the time this last bag is opened, the window sill will be filled with Christmas cards ( thank god my brother gets a stack of great art cards for me every year , so at least I don't have to worry about making cards ... don't you love the Picasso Santa ?!) , and maybe even some white snow outside the window. It might just help me figure out what Holiday I'm in (before I return to the office in the New Year with 4th of July ideas).
oh, and my mom's advent calendar is different this year too ... I did remember it in time, just decided to make it look more Asian, since it was part of a whole birthday theme ( I will share that with you soon). Painting numbers onto the cards the photo holder comes with is easy and quick ... might just be another idea for you for next year , once you've gotten your loved ones hooked on Advent calendars ... just like my family is. Happy Advent !