We’ve survived our Thanksgiving tryptophan coma, and suddenly it’s December 1st. Time for the countdown to Christmas to begin in earnest, which means time for the annual Activity Advent Calendar around here.
Day 1: Advent Calendars. Save yourself from having to answer the “How many more days until Christmas?” question ad infinitum and help the kids get some practice in with numbers too! Advent calendars are generally made of paper (though there are other options we’ll get to in a minute), and feature 24 individually numbered doors. Children open a door corresponding to the number of the day, and find a picture, chocolate, or even a toy inside (depending on the kind of calendar you choose). I loved having an advent calendar as a child, and was surprised at how few of my friends knew about the tradition. Without further ado, some advent calendar options from around the web (and Seattle):
Those looking for a lovely and simple paper advent calendar can check out the Eeboo calendars at Buggy in Madrona (I love the Woodland design pictured here). There is a small variety of lovely animal scenes to choose from, with nary a licensed character in sight.
Eeboo Paper Advent Calendars at Buggy | $8.00 CHOCOLATE
Lots of options when it comes to advent calendars filled with chocolate, just none from locally owned or crafted sources. Those willing to let their children sugar up daily in anticipation of the holiday can find Chocolate-filled advent calendars at Ikea, Trader Joes, and World Market (to name a few). While you won’t generally find licensed characters here either, you also won’t find calendars known particularly for their artistic merits.
Chocolate Advent Calendars | $.99 – $12.99 KEEPSAKE
Feeling guilty about the waste of resources involved in more traditional advent calendars? While a bit too late for this year, Etsy seller thymbyldesigns has a beautiful Matryoshka Advent Calendar, just waiting to be filled with chocolates, toys, or even holiday crafts and ideas to complete each day (pictured at left). For the past couple of years, we have been reusing this calendar from Starbucks, refilling it with a variety of small items and ideas each year. Unfortunately, Starbucks seems to have gotten out of the Advent Calendar business.
Keepsake Advent Calendars at Etsy | $38.00, plus your own filling for each day CRAFTY
But why run from licensed characters, when you can embrace them? Starwars.com’s Bonnie Burton offers a make-your-own Advent Calendar idea that is strong in the Force. Simple, economical, and as creative as you want to make it. I fully approve. (You could of course make your calendar without the StarWars characters, but where’s the fun in that?). ONLINE
The final frontier in Advent Calendars, those with a punk bent will enjoy the Punk Rock Advent Calendar from Plastic Punk Records. Enjoy a new MP3 file each day, free. Wonder where Oi! To The World is hiding?
The twins will make it more of a challenge (They’ll be 3 months old tomorrow! How did that happen?), but I’ll be trying to offer a different holiday craft/activity/or idea each day in December as part of my own advent calendar here on Instant Hausfrau. It’s something I have attempted other years, and enjoyed the attempts. Hope you do too.