Growing up in Asia meant advent calendars weren’t as popular as a Christmas tradition like they are in the West. I don’t think I truly appreciated their significance until I moved to Oz, had children of my own and subsequently began this beautiful ancient tradition in my own family at Christmas time.
Unlike the days of old (like some time in the 19th century!) when religious families used to chalk a line for each day on their door in December until Christmas Eve, there is today no limit to the creativity of the modern advent calendar—they come in fabric, cardboard, wood, plastic, paper and any form of material one can imagine, usually bearing little gifts for each day to the countdown.
There’s hardly reason why advent calendars shouldn’t be created for adults as much as most of the kiddy ones that are readily available at retailers cashing in at the holiday season—most commonly the chocolate-laden cardboard ones in your nearest supermarket confectionery aisles. I’d say–kids or no kids, it’s still fun to count down to Christmas Day! Aren’t adults just oversized kids anyway? Ditch the treats if you’re into being all healthy. How about an advent calendar filled with one inspiring quote each day from December first till twenty-fourth to start the new year? Or a love note for your significant other. Write one for each other and make it 24 notes each. I think it’d be lovely, don’t you. No one’s too big or old for this.
One thing’s for sure, advent calendars have definitely evolved from advent candles, advent wreaths, printed advent calendars stuffed into newspapers or even ancient advent clocks that were specially designed for the countdown to Christmas. I’ve attached a couple of images of some of the modern advent calendar designs I love which will no doubt inspire crafty types.
Christmas Advent Calendar
As for me, I’m relieved that I’ve finished constructing mine for my kids this Christmas and this year I’m going for a simple, minimalist design. They are a boxed and numbered set I created using some old wedding favour boxes I’ve had in my craft studio since 1999! They were originally blue and though not quite my Christmas colour ever—I’ve simply turned them inside out so that they look like plain ol’ cardboard boxes. I then embellished the boxes with numbered scrapbook paper with a light rub of ‘distress-look’ stamp inks on the surface and filled each box with treats.
My ever curious little six year-old asked me the clever question of “How do you fit it a toy bigger than these boxes if you wanted to give me a bigger toy, mummy?” Well, I insert a number on a piece of paper inside some of the boxes that correspond to a bag of treats or toys larger than what I can stuff in these little cardboard boxes.
As for presentation, I used a simple black picture frame with wrapping paper and butcher’s twine as a display rack for the advent boxes. They can be tied with twine and then attached to the frame. Another simple fuss-free way to present these boxes would be to stack them neatly on a tray (I used a galvanised one for a rustic look). Fasten the opening with some washi tape rather than twine or string for a faster finish (Yes I know most of you haven’t the time!).
Gasp, this post reminds me it’s only a month more to Christmas! Have fun with yours! Follow my blog with Bloglovin