My Tea Journal ~ Advent Hopes
Advent Tea Journal ~ Peace Be with Us

Our Advent Calendar this Year (2014)

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Happy Tuesday, my friends! I hope your week's going well ... :)

Today I'd like to share our Advent calendar with you all. In keeping with my hopes for the season, I tried to keep this project simple and use mostly what I had on hand. Not that I don't love me a craft store trip, but I haven't been able to get over there in a while, so I worked with what I found in various old craft bins (that have yet to be organized since the move!).

Anyhoo ... I decided to use the posterboard in the kitchen where the Blessed Turkey sat last month. I ordered adhesive library pockets online and, as neatly as I could, arranged 25 of them on the front of the posterboard ...

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The envelopes needed some decoration, so I scattered paper-punched snowflakes across them (applied with a glue stick). (Stamping would have been nice here.) I also trimmed the edges of the board with some seasonal washi tape. 

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So far so good!

Earlier last month, I ordered a book of 400 reusable Christmas stickers. It's filled with all kinds of very life-like, photgraphed images. Realistic pictures work best for EB.

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I went through the book and chose 25 stickers to use as Christmas vocabulary. Then I rifled through my index card stash and pulled out 25 cards: 21 white + 3 purple + 1 pink. After trimming about an inch off one end (so it would better fit inside the library pocket), I wrote the date at the top of each card in green pen. (Holding the card vertically.) Each card has a sticker with a vocabulary word describing what it is. 

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And then on the back of the card there is a note about the date and a simple seasonal activity we'll do that day.

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Here they are all laid out ...

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Now, though I have all the dates organized in my planner, I am writing the cards out each night before bed. This buys me some time and discretion. For one thing, EB is quite likely to pull out a card in advance - thereby ruining the surprise! - but also, I need to gauge mood/energy and weather on a day-to-day basis before committing to an activity. (Such is life with a special needs kid!)

So here's how it all shaped up ...

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 (Sorry the pictures are all kind of dark. I took these photos late on a cloudy day!)

To jazz the calendar up a bit, I used some sparkly letters in the empty bottom right corner ... 

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... and some vintage silver-lined postcards along the top of the calendar.

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(I've had these cards for years and years - I'm glad to finally put them to good use!)

So there you have it - an Advent activity calendar to guide a young child through the weeks leading up to Christmas. We are on day three and so far it has been really nice for EB. He was SO excited for Thanksgiving I was afraid he'd have a hard time switching gears, but now it's all about Christmas is coming and how many more days? With this calendar, he'll have a visual way to see The Day get closer and some fun to make the waiting a little easier!


(By the way, we follow Advent according to the church calendar, so it doesn't always begin with December 1st as do most Advent calendars. This one began on Sunday, November 30th (the First Sunday in Advent) and will continue through Christmas Day. And yes, we include Christmas Day itself, because that just makes sense to EB. When that last card is read he will be told that Advent is actually over and Christmas has finally begun!)


Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone ... have a great night and I will see you here again very soon!

 p.s. I will do a post on the 25 images and the proposed activities next!