One hour before it was time to leave town for Thanksgiving celebrations and you know what I was doing? No, not packing – too predictable! 😉 I was creating my first DIY advent calendar of course! When I get inspired to tackle a DIY, I tend to just jump in and figure the rest out as I go. It’s not always the method I’d recommend. At times it’s met with a “really?! now?!” look from my husband (ha!), and it doesn’t always go the way I hoped if I’m honest. But sometimes life is busy and calendars are full and when the excitement for creativity strikes with an hour to spare, you go with it! Speaking of doing things last minute… if 25 whole days is too much to prepare for at this time in the month, use this same idea for the 12 days of Christmas!
My first attempt at this advent calendar for instance: I only managed to complete 12 out of 25 days… but you know, I’ll get to the rest later! I didn’t have a full plan either, so the finished product didn’t quite match the vision in my head… I could go on about the areas I see for improvement in my work, but that’s not the point! See previous blog post, “Moms Make the Magic” for reminder! 🙂 And you know the great part about kids? They don’t know when you don’t meet your own Pinteresty expectations! They just know that Christmas is magical and their mama is magical and the memories matter way more to them than the perfect aesthetic! I think we could all learn a thing or two about beauty if we stopped to see it through their eyes a little more often.
There are two consistent themes I tend to stick with when approaching anything for our family these days: How can we create make the most of our moments together and how can we do it by making the most with what we have?
I knew I wanted to start a new tradition this year since our son is old enough to participate in and enjoy holiday moments more. I’ve always loved the anticipation and intentionality advent calendars bring to this season and I’ve seen some great ideas for DIY versions floating around that I thought I could pull off without having to buy much. So off I went!
Before I tell you how I made mine, I want to remind you… You do not have to buy a lot of everything or the newest of anything to create magical memories with your family this holiday season! This Christmas, it’s time to start worrying less about what will make a better instagram post and more about what will be practical and enjoyable for you and your family, right where you’re at in this season of life!
My Advent Calendar Ingredients:
Long branch – I wish mine was found outside, but I bought it in a bundle of three in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby! Because it was on clearance, I can’t find the same ones to share. These ones from Crate and Barrel are the closest I could find and are actually a similar price. IDEA: Invite two other mom friends to make these with you and split the cost! Creating Christmas decorations AND community while saving money at the same time! Win win win!!!
Twine – Or string or ribbon… Whatever fits the look you’re going for best!
Clothes pins – For attaching your advent packages.
Wrapping paper – I used a small roll from the dollar section at Target! But there are lots of ways you can package up your goodies! This was just what I already had at home so I made do with it!
Treats – This can be literally anything! I chose to go with small edible treats that would be seen as a treat. This is mainly because I didn’t want to shop for non-edible goodies and I thought this would be a convenient thing for my little to unwrap and enjoy while we have our family time each night.
Plastic baggies – These are obviously dependent on what you wrap up, but because I used edible treats, some required sealed packaging. Mini ziplocks worked perfectly and were easy to wrap!
Advent cards – This is the whole point of our calendar! We are using these advent cards from Crew and Co.that I’m SO excited about! They correspond with this Jesus Storybook Bible from Sally Lloyd Jones and my hope is that we can read the story each night during family time to start a new tradition for the month of December!
Envelopes – A totally optional element! I chose to put each card in an envelope to add another opportunity for unwrapping and also to add the pop of red instead of the colorful cards hanging on the walls themselves.
Cutesy items – I chose to add a couple little vintage items from around our house to my hanging calendar to break up the packages and give it the look I wanted. You could do this with anything! Or nothing at all! This is where the personal touches really come in!
Garland – This was one of those complaints I had with my result – I would’ve preferred to use real greenery, and I still might change it up… But what I had time for in the moment was to steal this fake one from Hobby Lobby off my mantel so that’s what I did!
For some video tutorial on this and a closer look at the finished product, you can check out my holiday ideas + DIYs story highlight on instagram, HERE!
I hope this simple idea share inspires your creativity! But more than anything, I hope it reminds you what matters most and inspires you to make the most of your moments by making the most with what you have! These are THE days!
Happy Happy Holidays!