Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Calendar - Traditions Part 1

This year my Little Dude is old enough & I wanted to begin creating our family holiday traditions.  An Advent calendar being one.  I'm not totally sure why, because it's not something I have so many amazing memories of...  Though, one year I did have an Advent calendar that had a small, plastic figure behind each day's door (instead of chocolate), and each figure made up a piece of the Nativity scene (baby Jesus in a manger topping it all off).  My mom & I loved it (she painted a small night scene to go behind it & we put it together each year, and she still has all the pieces), which is a little odd because we're Buddhists...but, whatever...

Anyway - last year I had this brilliant idea to sew an Advent calendar:  basically a square of fabric with 25 pockets - so we could have something lasting, instead of buying a new calendar each year (and only ever getting chocolate - not that I don't love me some chocolate).

This year, I still had that same brilliant idea...but nothing started & no time to make one anytime soon.

I should mention:  I am not a sewer.

My mother, however, is.
(thank you Mom!)

And, with a little help from me with regards to fabric, color, shape & size (a lovely natural canvas, durable, but not too stiff & about 32"x42"), she whipped one right up - and helped me fill it with all sorts of fun treats for Trent:

It's hung on a dowel rod, with two small, wooden knobs to cover the ends.  The red, velvet ribbon is the finishing touch.

I am *thrilled* with the results!

I had originally planned on cutting the numbers out of various scrap fabrics I have laying around.  But, looking at this beautiful, simple creation, I just didn't want to make it into something chaotic.

So we bought some gold fabric paint & a set of stencils, and viola!
(sponging the paint has worked way better than using a brush, but I still have to be careful not to over-saturate, because then it bleeds under the stencil & instead of a lovely number, I've got a big blob)

This year Trent gets to choose one pocket each day - any pocket that he hasn't picked yet - and I am stenciling the numbers to follow his pattern.  It makes the numbers wonderfully random, but also meaningful (this was also my Mom's idea.  She's good like that).
Next year, and forever-after, he can follow the numbers.

So far, he's really enjoying choosing each morning, but isn't paying much attention to the calendar otherwise, which I'm grateful for.

I'm not telling him about Jesus or St. Nick, or even Christmas - just Advent.
Not quite sure how I'm going to broach those subjects when they come up...

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