Hi Everyone! Rebecca with you today and it really is the most wonderful time of the year, don't you think?! I personally LOVE the holiday season and what better way is there to kick off the Christmas countdown than with an Advent Calendar?
We can all agree that part of the fun of an Advent Calendar is knowing that each day comes with a surprise, right? Keeping this in mind, I used 25 small glassine envelopes to house small surprises. Next came decorating them which entailed decisions, decisions, decisions! Bits and pieces from the Sleigh Ride collection were in order here and the hard part was choosing what to use since it's all so fresh and fun! Luckily, the number circles from the Vellum Tags and Numbers helped me out - they were perfect for this project, with numbers ranging from 1 - 25, and they also helped me to decide on my color choices. Although Sleigh Ride is filled with beautiful colors for a modern take on the holiday, I opted to go more traditional and stuck to a red, white and silver palette.
With 25 envelopes all displayed together, it's nice for them to have a common "voice" instead of each one being completely different. So for unity, they all have a vellum number, a small white tag, and a mini clothespin that I painted with a silver leaf pen.
I sifted through my entire Sleigh Ride collection and picked out anything that was red, silver or neutral and got to work. I tried to think of December and how my family will be spending it. It's all about Christmas -- getting ready for it, enjoying the season, and spending time as a family. Now that our little guy is 2 and quickly becoming a Christmas expert, it's a great time for us to start new traditions. We got a real Christmas tree this year and since December 1st happened to be a Saturday, we went out and got it that day. So, I made December 1st specific to getting the tree (putting a piece of "O Christmas Tree" paper on the inside). It's also the kick off day and the 'tis the season sticker worked beautifully.
For other days, I just chose cute embellishments and sometimes a holiday phrase, either from a Sleigh Ride sticker, or I typed it myself on vellum. The buttons and Brads and chipboard stickers had a lot of great pieces to use -- everything coordinates so well together.
I also chose the pieces of glitter chipboard that matched well with my palette -- notably the silver and white snowflakes and white snowmen, and used an assortment of those to decorate my mini envelopes.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the most magical of the month as all of the excitement that's been building comes to fruition. I tried to capture that feeling on those days. As parents, my husband and I are really enjoying watching Gus's excitement about Christmas this year. He loves the carols, the Christmas tree, the idea of getting gifts (of course!), and the phone calls to Santa Clause during dinner where we tell Santa that he's being a good boy and eating all of his food and so, deserves the big train he wants!
For the contents inside each envelope, I kept them simple, not wanting to add a lot of bulk of compete with the outside of the envelopes since they are glassine and see-through. I cut down a few sheets from the 6 x 6 paper pad into 3.5" x 2" and then mixed them up so I had a variety, notably "Jingle Bells", "O Christmas Tree", "Rudolph", and "Blue Christmas". This was actually one of my very first steps and it helped when trying to decide how to decorate the outside. For instance, I didn't use loads of red embellishments on the outside if the primary color on the inside was also red.
As for each day's "treasure", you can't go wrong with chocolate, so I opted for Ghirardelli flavors in mint and salted caramel to put inside most of the envelopes. I also put a Starbucks gift card in one for my husband and I so we can enjoy a nice treat when we're out and about doing our holiday shopping. Since chocolate and coffee drinks are off-limits for Gus, I got a set of Cars 2 Micro Drifters for him and broke it up. Even though they're tiny little cars, they didn't exactly fit in the small envelopes as well as I'd hoped, so I just left a few days empty and will give him one on each of those days.
And because I didn't want our calendar to only be about gifts and treats, on the back of each of the papers inside I wrote, "Today we are happy because..." I'd really like to think about that this season since we have so much to be happy about. November was about being thankful and December will be about enjoying all that we have and recognizing how fortunate we are.
To display my calendar, I used a cork bulletin board and covered it with red glitter wrapping paper. I strung 5 rows of silver ribbon, which I secured to the back of the board, and clipped the envelopes onto them with the mini clothespins. All that's left to do now is open one each day and enjoy what's inside -- both the tangible treat and the happy memory.
Happy Holidays! I hope you're holiday season is magical, too!