November 27, 2010

Advent Calendar Blog Hop!

Happy Saturday and welcome to the Advent Calendar blog hop!

If you have come here from Denise's blog then your are on the right track! If you want to start a the beginning of the hop, head on over to Angelica's blog  and start there, you don't want to miss anything.

My grandmother made me a advent calendar for my 1st Christmas. She made each of the grand kids one. I remember as a child looking forward to December 1st, so that I could not only get some sort of small treat each day, but it was a fun tradition that started the count down to Christmas. 

This is the calendar that my grandmother made me.

 Like I said, she made one for each of us, they got a little more elaborate as the years progressed, my brother's is super fancy, but I still think mine is the best. After all, I was the 1st grand baby, meaning that this was the 1st calendar that she made, and that has to count for something... right? :)

Anyway... so this year is my nephew's 1st Christmas and I have been doing some research on holiday traditions, including advent calendars. I love to know the history of things.

Did you know that the first Advent calendars were made by German Lutherans at the beginning of the 19th Century. At that time, they were very simple and consisted of lighting a candle each day or drawing a chalk line on the door to mark the 24 days before Christmas. The first commercial Advent calendars were produced in Hamburg in 1902.

There is even a German city called Hünfeld where, each year, they turn the town hall into a giant advent calendar! 

Absolutely beautiful, no? I just love when buildings are outlined with glowing lights, especially when it is done on historic architecture.

I also love the idea of traditions! I think that children especially love/thrive on traditions and I believe that it's really important to have family traditions.  

That's were this hop comes in! I hope if you gain nothing else from this hop, it is that you are encouraged to start a few new family traditions of your own. :)

I decided to keep my advent calender fairly simple. 
I made icicle boxes and attached numbers to each box. I found the template for the box here. I converted it in Make-the-Cut so that I could use my Cricut to re-size them and cut them out. If you don't have that option, you can print out the template, cut it out of a heavy piece of card stock, and cut them out by hand. 
They were fairly simple to do. I used the My Minds Eye "Holly Jolly" paper collection. The tags were made with coordinating Bazzil card stock. The tag was cut from page 58, of the Winter Frolic Cricut cart. They were cut at 2".  I used a 1" circle punch for the circles and the numbers were cut from a 1/2" set of Quickutz dies that I have.  I just happened to find the dark brown raffia at Michaels.

This is what they look like hanging on the tree. 
  I have filled all of the boxes with a little bit of chocolate goodness. Twelve of the boxes, the even numbers, also contain a small note.
Each note has a different family activity on it. 
Play Christmas music and trim the tree.
Make hot cocoa and take a drive to see Christmas lights.
Make popcorn and watch the movie "It's a wonderful Life".
Decorate Christmas Cookies.
Deliver Christmas cookies to friends and neighbors.
Make and deliver a meal to a family in need.
 Talk about what we are thankful for and spend time in prayer as a family. 
Read the nativity story. 
The best part is that you can tailor the activities to your family's needs or to what you would like to focus on, as a family, for the holiday season.
I hope that this hop has inspired you to start a new tradition of you own!

BTW - I purchased the feather tree at Michael's 3 or 4 years ago.

Ready for some blog candy?

As a thank you, for "hopping" along with us today, I am giving away a set of Peachy Keen, Happy Lashes, face assortment stamps!
For a chance to win all you have to do is:

1. Become a follower, if not already.
2. Leave a message under this blog post.

That's it! I will choose the winner via on Monday night at 9pm. The winner will be announced Tuesday morning right here!

My blog is the last one in the hop today. Below is a list of all the blogs...
just in case you missed a few.

Thanks so much for "hopping" along with us today!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!