When I was a kid we had a felt advent calendar. My mom always packed it away with the Christmas tree decorations, so every year when we put up our tree in mid December it was my job to pin the first two weeks of ornaments on the felt tree. For the rest of the month whoever got to the calendar first would pin up a new ornament. Not only was it part of our tradition, it was a handmade craft that my grandmother made.
My own kids only know the store bought advent calendars. They expect chocolate. Strangely enough it was that same crafty grandmother who always sent my kids the throwaway versions. This year, short of a miracle, she will not be sending anything through the mail. It wasn’t until I asked my daughter to guess today’s date that I realized we wouldn’t be getting advent calendars unless we went out and bought them ourselves. To me this was the sign of a tradition meant to be broken.
As young as they are, my little ones quickly agreed to an environmentally friendly alternative. Instead of buying a calendar we will use a page from our scrap paper pile to draw a Christmas picture for our fridge. For December 1st we drew a turquoise Christmas tree sitting in a pile of red snow. When we were done we each indulged in a single chocolate chip. Yum. They can’t wait until tomorrow.
It will be fun to compare our December calendars each year as the kids develop their artistic skills! Do you have a green advent tradition?
Image: flickr user petitshoo under a Creative Commons License.
[This post was written by Tara Benwell.]
Jamie Ervin says
We have a wooden Advent Calender that comes out year after year. Everyone loves it and my kids (Thankfully) haven’t discovered the paper/chocolate ones! I am terrible about remembering every day to place the wooden ornament on the tree. Oops.
Another craft we do is to make a count down chain out of our recycling (colorful paper, previous craft paper, etc…) Then the kiddos get to pull one link off the chain each day until Christmas. They have a blast decorating the links and even writing names on them so everyone knows whose turn it is to pull the link off!
Love the link idea! We made a long chain one year with all of the members of our family that we wouldn’t get to see, but wanted to think of over the holidays. Surely there were 25. Will have to keep that in mind as an advent idea.
We made our first advent calender this year and had great fun whilset also not sepnding much money. We look forward to using it every year!
Stephanie - Green SAHM says
We have a felt Advent calendar too. My husband keeps eying the ones that you put candy in, and I keep saying ‘no’. We have one, his mother made it and that’s special enough for me. There are plenty of other reasons kids get sweets at this time of year; why add to it?