I know all of my American readers are focused on Thanksgiving right now (you guys can bookmark this post for later) but since I'm Canadian and I had my Thanksgiving six weeks ago, I'm busy getting ready for the big Christmas Countdown.
Even though my boys have hit the advanced ages of 11 and 13, they still love to keep track of how much time is left until the Big Day arrives. Perhaps their enthusiasm has something to do with the fact that our two reusable Advent calendars have become an integral part of our holiday celebrations (as well as centerpieces of our holiday decor).
One of our most cherished Christmas decorations is the Advent Quilt a close friend of mine made for us back when our kids were tiny little things.
As you can see, it's a Christmas tree, and (not as easy to see in the photo) under the tree are presents with little numbered pockets. Each pocket contains an ornament to hang on the tree. The pocket for the 24th has the angel to hang on the top of the tree on Christmas Eve (you can see her peeking out of the pocket in the bottom right hand corner). Not only is this a beautiful keepsake, it's totally reusable from one year to the next - which means even if the beginning of Advent sneaks up on me and I'm totally unprepared, we always have one calendar that's ready to go!
Our second Advent Calendar is one that my mom purchased for us several years ago. It has a fabric pocket for each day that is large enough to hold either edible treats or a small gift (like a keychain, marbles, or a small action figure).
There are tons of other great ideas for creating your own Advent calendars out in the blogosphere as well. Here are a few I've found that could be done easily with little to no cost:
"Big Box" Advent Calendar at Mod Podge Rocks
You could use old match boxes, jewelry boxes, or make your boxes from cereal boxes
Cookie Sheet Advent Calendar at Matt and Shari
This is a clever design and you could easily adapt it to use items you've got on hand (if you have a beat up cookie sheet that's ready to be retired, you could paint it and use it to make one of these).
String of Lights Advent Calendar at Elsie Marley
You could felt some worn out pieces of wool clothing if you don't have enough scraps of felt on hand to make this. So cute and clever!
Do you have a favourite reusable Advent calendar? Please share a link if you've got one.