The Advent calendar for kids is not only the first decoration that appears in many households, but also the one that best expresses the sense of excitement and anticipation of the holiday season. As your kids open the windows, they know that Christmas is on its way.
The tradition of the Advent calendar dates back to the 19th century, when it was common practice to mark the days until Christmas Eve among pious families. Some would only chalk lines on their front doors to mark each day of Advent as it passed, while others would lit candles, either a single candle with 24 notches, or an arrangement of four candles, each one representing a Sunday of Advent.
At the end of the 19th century Advent calendars for kids had become a lavish affair. These days, however, it has become difficult to find attractive designs that aren’t merely chocolate-filled marketing tools. Kids, of course, love them, but they are far from being festive, and are normally anything but stylish.
It shouldn’t be so difficult to surprise your children with an unexpected alternative that would help them feel the spirit of the season. A miniature Christmas tree decked with 24 numbered mittens or socks, each containing a little treat – chocolate coins, or perhaps tiny decorations that could be added to the tree – will be far more original than any calendar bought at the store. In a similar way, you can consider suspending 24 numbered packages or mini buckets from lengths of ribbon or a swag of Christmas greenery. Older kids and adults might enjoy 24 Advent envelopes pegged to a clothes line, each one containing a silly puzzle or riddle.
If you would prefer the traditional window-styled Advent calendar for kids, it’s not too difficult to make it for your children or to help them design their own calendars for each other. Try to choose a simple image, like the front of your house and get them to paint it onto card stock. On a separate piece of card stock, mark where the flaps would be opening and fill each space with an image. A good source of surprise images is family photographs or, perhaps, old magazines. When finished, stick the two pieces of card stock together, and don’t forget to bend the flaps back into place so that they don’t open earlier than they are supposed to.
Advent calendar for kids will always be so much more personal than anything available at supermarkets, particularly if the images inside each window relate to your family.