Saturday, November 29, 2008

Channeling Martha Stewart

I have these moments when I feel really artistic. I want to make something pretty and functional. Usually it involves food. This time it is a our own homemade advent countdown calendar. Every year I buy those crappy dollar calendars with mock-chocolates behind the flaps. The kids never complained. I knew, however, that there were these mothers out there that made homemade advent calendars in the form of boxes, envelopes or what ever else grabbed their fancy. Each day had an activity for the kids like making a fort in the living room, or delivering cookies to elderly neighbours. I was so envious. I wanted to do that but it took time, effort, and most of all, lots of planning.

Well folks, this year I planned ahead. In a year when Christmas decorations will be put out sparingly, because the kitchen reno has left us with less living space, I decided I would still go through with the activity calendar and tonight it is finished.

I started with some pretty origami paper and made little cups. I took my hot glue gun (purchased 9 years ago, used only once) and attached pretty ribbons as straps. They were numbered and hung up on a golden cord with tiny, little festive clothes pins fastened to the entry hall wall. I put in two real chocolate balls and a little fortune cookie sized note with something fun planned for that day.

Inside I wrote down activities that had been well planned in advance, like tickets to a holiday event at the zoo or the children's Christmas party at Rob's office. The other days are filled with baking, family wii game night, a donation to the local food bank, a tea party and more. I think we'll have a lot of fun with this and, providing the kids and the cat are gentle, they should still be good to use next year. With the month being as hectic as it is, this is a nice way for the kids to anticipate fun activities for the day and it forced me to sit and plan out the month. I was able to scale back some activities and make the holiday more reasonable, and hopefully enjoyable, for all.

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