Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar & Jingle Bell Ornament

During our time in Germany, we purchased this cute little advent calendar.  There are 25 little compartments that are large enough for a few pieces of candy or whatever else will fit.  When you open a door, a music box starts to play "Walking in a winter wonderland..." and three little snowmen move back and forth "ice-skating" at the top opening.  Last year I put mostly candy and chocolate in the boxes, and a few small (choking hazzard!!) toys.  My kids no longer stick that kind of stuff in their mouths. 
This year I want to do something different.  I don't want the focus to be on toys and sugar shocked sweets.  So, I've had to get creative...  I wrote down 25 popular Christmas songs, carols and hymns on little slips of paper, and stuck them in each box.  Each day, we'll listen to that song and attempt to sing along, hoping to teach our kids some of the ones we remember from our youth that they've probably never heard. 
In addition, there will be craft projects to make ornaments together, Christmas recipes to bake together, movies to watch together, and books to read together. Notice the theme: together. It's my secret attempt to spend more quality time with my family.

Since it is December 1st, we opened the first box this evening after dinner. Today we sang, "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear," which did not get much enthusiam from the kids. I've got them hoping tomorrow will be "Frosty the Snowman," "Jingle Bells," or "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Next we made a VERY simple craft...Jingle Bell Ornaments.
I bought a cannister of large jingle bells at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.  They are at least 1 inch in diameter.  I took 1/8 inch grosgrain ribbon in blue, red or green and cut several pieces of each in 6 to 8 inch long pieces.  Thread one through the top of each bell and then tie the ends together with a knot.  Next, I took wider grosgrain ribbon in matching colors and cut strips that were 4 inches or so in length.  Tie one or two ribbons around the skinny ribbon with a knot or bow and slide it to the bottom near the bell (as shown).  That's it.  Super simple, very few supplies required, and really quick to make.  Happy Crafting!

Hey, I just opened a new Etsy store.  There's only a few things up there right now, but I'll be adding more stuff weekly.  You can check it out here:

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