Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crafty Christmas Advents with kids!

Its time to make our annual Christmas Advent Calendar with the kids. We have gathered many advent calendar "know how's" to help inspire you to create your own family traditions.  Here is a quick history of the Christmas Advent Calendar and a poem from About.com -
December 1st 'til Christmas is the longest time of the year.
Seems as if old Santa never will appear.
How many more days 'til Christmas? It may be hard to count,
But this little gift of candy will tell you the exact amount.
Untie a piece of candy each day when Sandman casts his spell
And Christmas will be here by the time you ring the bell. 
Here is a sneak peak -

Click on the "Read More" to continue to all the inspiration

Some form of the Advent Calendar has been used for more than 150 years and becomes increasingly popular every year. From traditional calendar to calendars that feature popular collectibles and themes, there is a calendar for everyone.

The origin of the calendar, like so many of our Christmas traditions, started in Germany in the 19th century. Different methods of counting down the days to the celebration of Christmas were used.

Drawing a chalk line to mark off the days, later lighting a candle every night or putting up small religious pictures marked each day until Christmas. The first printed calendar was produced by Gerhard Lang in Germany. When he was a child, his mother attached little candies to a piece of cardboard and each day Gerhard would take one off. His first (printed) calendar consisted of miniature colored pictures that would be attached to a piece of cardboard each day in December. Later Advent calendars were made with little doors to open on each day. The child might find a small piece of candy, a Christmas picture, a religious picture or a bible verse.

The German calendars were sold until World War II, at which time production was stopped due to the war shortages. After the war, the production of calendars resumed in 1946 by Richard Selmer. Selmer credits President Eisenhower with helping the tradition grow in the United States during his term of office. A newspaper article at the time showed the Eisenhower grandchildren with The Little Town Advent calendar. His company still produces calendars today and can be ordered online. Check out the online museum to see some of their early designs.

The first Advent calendars were based on 24 days with Christmas Eve as the last night to either put up a picture or take a candy. Today, the traditional German calendars still show 24 days, but in the United States, it's not uncommon to also find ones with 25 days -- the last opening to occur on Christmas Day.

Advent Calendars can be found everywhere Christmas is celebrated and have been made with many different themes. There are permanent ones with little drawers that are opened every day, felt pieces to decorate a tree, religious icons behind the different doors and lots of pop-culture/character Advent calendars. The traditional ones are still a paper/cardboard piece with a small treasure behind the doors. The treasures can range from a beautiful miniature religious picture, perhaps a little wooden toy or even a piece of candy (sure to cause problems when there is more than one child in the household).

We hope you will be inspired to start a tradition like this for your family, one that will become a real treasure in the years to come.

We were inspired by some of these ideas that we collected and want to share with you.... 

Here is an online interactive Advent Calendar 

Activity Village advent calendar 2010
interactive online advent
Activity Village

Advent Calendars to Make!

Family Fun Magazine

A Stocking Countdown Calendar
Family Fun Magazine 

Fuse Interiors advent calendar
green advent calendar
Fuse Interiors

 Christmas Gift Countdown
Whatever Dee Dee Wants

Felt Advent Calendar
Shannon Makes Stuff

Pretty stocking advent
Uncommon Grace
The Purl Bee has a wonderful tutorial for this pocket style made from felt.
Gingerbread Snowflakes gingerbread hosue advent
gingerbread house advent
Gingerbread Snowflakes

Craftastica recycled advent
recycle bin advent

In These Hills spiral advent
spiral advent
In These Hills

Filth Wizardry paper plate advent
paper plate advent calendar
Filth Wizardry

Kids Craft Weekly origami basket advent
origami basket garland advent
Kids Craft Weekly

Chica And Jo grinch advent
Grinch advent calendar
Chica And Jo

The Crafts Dept. matchbox advent
matchbox advent
The Crafts Dept.

Centsational Girl manzanita advent full tree
manzanita advent
Centsational Girl
Colorful adven
She Knits Shizknits
Linaloo's beauty was featured in the BHG Holiday Crafts issue this year!
Felt pouches

Filled Treat Paper Cone Advent
The Red Thread
Bright and cheery advent
Wise Craft
Kristin Hove advent calendar
small packages advent
Kristin Hove

Sweet Paul matchbox advent
matchbox advent calendar
Sweet Paul

The Artful Parent advent
paper doll chain advent
The Artful Parent

Moment To Moment paper bag advent
paper bag advent
Moment To Moment

Scrumdilly Do advent
scrappy advent calendar
Scrumdilly Do

The Crafts Dept. red and white advent
red and white advent
The Crafts Dept.

Craftynest popsicle stick advent
origami and popsicle stick tree advent

The City Cradle advent
paper parcel advent
The City Cradle

Maya*Made tp roll advent
cardboard tube snowflake advent
Full Circle
Solstice advent tradition of lighting candle

The Small Object 
Advent that you can download for free and add your own pictures and decorations Eighteen 25 snowflake advent
snowflake activity advent calendar
Eighteen 25

My Crafty Mess advent
romantic doily advent
My Crafty Mess

Homemade By Jill advent sew-a-long
advent sew-a-long
Homemade By Jill

Craft Leftovers printable 12 day advent house
printable house 12-day advent
Craft Leftovers

Gingerbread Snowflakes printable advent
printable tree and ornaments advent
Gingerbread Snowflakes

Paper Source printable gingerbread house advent
printable gingerbread house advent
Paper Source

snowing presents advent

fabric advent cones

felt string of lights advent
Elsie Marley

paper Christmas tree advent
Ikat Bag

Noel pocket advent
A Little Wonky

print and color advent
Alpha Mom

envelope advent
ziggiau on Flickr
via WhipUp

Qlkowa's printed muslin bags

Toilet paper tubes
 Maya Made
I love this box advent displayed on the wall at Full Circle :)
Linen Stockings
Hop Skip Jump.

Felted Scraps
Nesting Emily

Mismatched little socks
Elsie Marley.
4:53 am made this engaging advent from a cookie sheet!
paper cone advent
via WhipUp

felt advent tree
Stitch Craft

countdown advent chain
Stitch Craft

embroidered and sewn pocket advent
Cozy Homemaking

muslin drawstring bag advent
Mommy In The Mist

mini piƱata advent
Gingerbread Snowflakes

candy box city advent
That Artist Woman

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