Last year I wanted a permanent advent calendar, but left it too late. This year, I've been looking for weeks, but the closest I've come to the sort of thing I want is at Pottery Barn, online only. I'd rather buy something local, and I certainly want to see it first.
And then I couldn't find a paper one I liked, but on my way home I saw that Flax was having a huge sale. I bought an array of small bags, boxes and envelopes in various shades of red, pink, orange, purple. I punched holes in the envelopes and made slings for the boxes out of green raffia-- which
I also used to string the envelopes. A date is written on each "container" and a there is something to find inside of each. I strung them on a white jewelry tree I've had for years and never really used. So this is my half reusable, half discount-paper calendar:
It looks a little like the desert chaparral we saw so much of at my in-laws house. I don't necessarily think that's a good thing-- but I do love the combination of rosy hues.
There are stickers in one envelope, and there will be small ball in one of the boxes, but mostly these are "coupons" of things to do.
Some stuff is traditional, at least for us, but I struggled with coming up with other activities-- what is the meaning of Advent exactly? I don't like the idea of a "countdown"-- seems contradictory to being mindful and present. But I suppose we have this month to contemplate that.
Anyway, here's our list (partially inspired by this post... I read a LOT of Advent stuff the last few days):
J's favorite dinner
3 Special Playdates (i.e. dinner-- we do a lot of entertaining this time of year) with a special friends(give gift)
J's Winter Dance Recital
Collect pine cones and make wreathes
Make Gingerbread Men
Santa Lucia-- candle lit dinner
See the Reindeer at the Academy of Sciences
Go Ice Skating
Make Christmas Cookies
Solstice-- longest night of the year-- new pj's for everyone... I might try to find a kids version of A Christmas Carol to read on another night
Dec 22: Halfway through the year:Family Art Night. Draw the year so far and intentions/wishes for the months to come
Donate Toys & Clothes @ Homeless Prenatal (I resell every other time of the year)
Sing Christmas Carols
Decorate the Tree
Visit our favorite nursery and get a wreath, narcissus
Go see the Tree at Union Square