Jen from Cuddles and Chaos is here today. Welcome Jen!
Hey guys! I'm Jen from Cuddles and Chaos and I'm so excited to share our advent calendar tradition here.
I don't know about you, but I'm a huge fan of the whole idea of advent calendars. I'm one of those people who decorates for Christmas immediately after Thanksgiving (I won't lie, I had a really tough time holding back this year!) and I love everything about the holiday season.
At the same time, I am not a big fan of the idea of tons of little plastic surprises or sugary treats during a time that's bursting with both to begin with. Plus, it kind of seems like a waste of money to buy a bunch of little trinkets right before a major gift giving holiday. Especially since said trinkets will probably break or be declared boring before New Years Day.
Instead, we decided to go with something that will last a lot longer and that we can enjoy year after year: books! It's really easy.
Here's what you need:
- 24 books. In our house, any book that takes place in the winter is fair game (for a list of all of the books we use, check out my post here).
- a roll of craft paper (or wrapping paper)
- foam glitter paper (scrapbook paper or even newspaper would work too. I found these in Dollar Tree and since my ladies love glitter I had to go with it!)
- number template (you can freehand these if you want, by I didn't trust myself)
Not pictured: a big basket, an x-acto knife, a pencil, tape
First, pour yourself a nice mug of hot chocolate and wrap those books. If there are any books you want to read on a particular day (for us it's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas), make sure you set it aside.
Next up is tracing numbers onto the glitter foam sheets so that you can number each of the books. I love the idea of counting down to Christmas, but our nights are usually so hectic it makes it easier for us if the number on each book corresponds with the date.
Once all of your numbers are done, it's decoration time! This year I decided to keep it simple and just use yarn. Some books were wrapped in a bow, others had strips of yarn that made patterns and shapes (Christmas trees and stars are nice and easy!), and still others had little pom poms on them.
In case you've never made your own pom pom before, they're super easy.
Take a fork and wrap a big, fat ball of yarn around it (about 100 times around does the trick). Next, tie it nice and tight in the middle. After that you just have to snip the loops and trim your little ball until you like the shape. It might take a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll love it. My seven year old could make pom poms all day long.
Once everything is wrapped and decorated to your liking, throw all of your books into a big basket. My girls love it if the books are out of order so they can search through the pile every night for that particular day's book.
That's it! Super simple, but it does the trick.
My girls so look forward to it every year and I love that it ensures a little bit of quality time with each other every day during a time that can be so hectic.
Thanks so much for sharing this Advent Calendar idea Jen!