For our little family, trying to adhere to the Church’s liturgical seasons as much as possible, I have always resorted to crafting a new Advent calendar for the children each year.
While there are many lovely Advent calendars available for purchase, (like this lovely Kurt Adler Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar with 24 Magnetic Figures, or this: 24 Days of Christmas Musical Animated Holiday Advent Calendar 17.5″, or this one here: 17″ Magnetic and Wooden Nutcracker Suite Children’s Advent Calendar Set….), the yearly crafting extravaganza is mainly in part to
my own stubbornness not being able to stumble across a ready made, reusable, wooden calendar that contains no fewer than 28 days, (since Advent can range from 22-28 days depending on how the Sundays fall), and is not dosed in evergreen and crimson, (because I want my children to enjoy the WAITING of Advent before Christmas actually arrives!).
Well, after a stroll through the local craft store in search of a birthday gift for my mother, I just happened to stumble upon this wonderful and inexpensive chipboard Advent calendar among the seasonal decor.
I just knew that with a little ingenuity, I would be able to craft a reusable calendar just like I envisioned (finally!).
Although this particular ready made chipboard calendar only contains 25 drawers, I was able to purchase 3 extra, giving me the maximum 28 days that can occur in certain year’s seasons. In those years when Advent is a little longer, I will just place the extra boxes on the top ledge–not quite ideal, but it will do!
I wanted our calendar to reflect the liturgical colors of violet and rose, so using violet card stock, I was able to cover the dull brown chipboard on all four sides, as well as the back of the box. Each drawer was then either painted in varying shades of violet or covered with extra card stock scraps. I even made sure to have one drawer covered in rose for Guadete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent.
Once everything was covered or painted, I then printed out last year’s Advent Calendar Tags onto heavy card stock.
And since I want the calendar to be reused for many years to come, I chose to adhere Velcro dots to the front of each drawer so that the tags can be interchangeable throughout the years. This will allow for the calendar to reflect the Advent season’s featured feast days regardless of when the days actually fall in a given year.
Just as with last year’s paper tube Advent calendar, I then filled each drawer with a daily activity, treat, or surprise for the children to discover each morning of Advent, (which I am sure they will be happy to admit is their favorite part of the whole thing!)
We have been using our calendar since last Sunday, and it is holding up nicely. Each drawer moves easily in and out of it’s little cubbie, so I am sure that this calendar will last for years to come (as well as to help create lasting memories for our family)!