Alternative Advent Calendars

posted by Gina

This is a Christmas-centric post. For those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, I apologize. A number of these ideas could be repurposed to count down towards other events, or just as a festive anticipatory game.

So I realize this is several days after the first of December, but hey – if you’re like me, you’re just starting to realize you better get in gear for holiday type stuff. I love decorating more than pretty much anyone in the world, and even I can’t get it together for the first of the month.

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My sister’s house, the day after Thanksgiving. I can’t live up to this.

 

When I was a kid, we got those punch out advent calendars every once in a while, with every window hiding a tiny chocolate. I’m pretty sure I also remember punching all the days out at once to get all the candy.

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WHO’S WITH ME

There’s something magic about anticipation, and counting down to Christmas morning was always a huge part of the season. December lasted so darn long as a kid – unlike today, as I’m thinking THREE WEEKS HOW WILL I POSSIBLY GET IT ALL DONE.

I present to you a number of festive, interactive, possibly-new-to-you ways to count down the days of this month. Should you choose to make one this weekend, you only have to make there weeks’ worth. You’re welcome.

Envelope Calendar

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from buzzfeed.com

Set up a calendar of sealed or stickered-closed envelopes. What goes inside? Consider love notes (“Day 14: reason #14 I love you”), or coupons (“Redeem for one enormous smooch” or “Redeem for one 24 hour period of not hearing a single word about how messy your room is”). For something more interactive, consider co-writing: multiple kids or you and your kiddo write for each other, so everyone has their own personal goodie each day.

Here is one family’s envelope calendar – complete with ideas for daily festive activities for filling the envelopes.

The Found Object Calendar

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from apartmenttherapy.com

I found this photo on apartmenttherapy.com, listed as an advent calendar idea, but the link it led to was broken. Which means I get to make up what I think it is! And what I think it is is fabulous: instead of pre-setting an advent calendar, create one together as the month goes. Pre-set a corkboard or wall space (or string up a wire, set up a mini tree, etc.) with a pin (or clip, or magnet) for each day of the month. Every day, have your kiddo bring home a found object or a drawing – label it with the day of the month, pin, clip, or attach it, and voila – a created calendar without the need for you to be inventive ahead of time.

and on the make-as-you-go train …

Build a Wishing Tree

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from huffingtonpost.com

Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree has been making the rounds of museums and exhibitions since the 1990s. Create a wish tree of your own to count down the days. Choose a tree in your yard, a plant in your home, build a tree, collage a tree – anything that works for you and your space. Each day, write a wish or hope on a ribbon, a tag, or a piece of paper and tie to your tree. Want to be official? Here is a link to Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree page.

Other countdown ideas? Let us know!

 

 

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Author: Gina L. Grandi

Moderately well-read. Fairly socially awkward. According to Greg, 'a sentimental cynic with artistic sensibilities.' Somewhat nifty.

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