I spent all of last night winging together a DIY advent calendar for our family. It involved loo rolls, candy striped party bags, origami envelopes, jute string and a shed load of washi tape. It wouldn't be fair to call this a tutorial of any kind, mainly because I made it up as I went along - gathering bits and pieces I had hoarded away (including some gold & silver pillow boxes I snapped up for 30p last Christmas in the Accessorize sale).
It has a vague Christmas tree shape (right?!) and each little box/shape is filled with a heap of fun things for us to do together and remember for each day on the lead up to Christmas. Some examples are: pick out the Christmas tree, watch 'The Snowman', make hot chocolate, bring the neighbours cookies, donate to the local foodbank and a special Christmas family prayer. There are also a fair amount of chocolate coins in there for good measure. I'm not an idiot.
I'm desperate to create meaningful memories with Levi and help him have a good balance between all the Santa magic and exposing him to kindness and generosity.
The main gist is that after making/decorating all 25 boxes/envelopes etc, I laid them out on the floor in the shape I wanted, wrote out the little notes on card, taped 5 bits of string lengthways in a long triangular shape and then used tiny little clothespegs to attach each box/shape to the string - number 1 at the bottom, working our way up to 25 at the top. Once they were all hung, I worked my way through the notes, placing them in the boxes depending on how they fit best into the next 25 days.
I love the build up to Christmas, even more so this year as my parents will be with us and we'll have a houseful of family for food on Christmas day. This is such a fun time in our family life, creating traditions and setting our own peaceful pace amidst the draw of bedlam often surrounding this season.
What are your favourite family traditions either now or when you were growing up?