At this time of the year, everyone is counting down to something – Christmas, the New Year, Kwanzaa, etc. But rather than buying an advent calendar that may not exactly suit your celebration or décor style, why not make your own countdown?
The holiday season has somehow evolved into a season about the stuff. I wanted a way to bring attention back to community-centered activities that represent the spirit of the holidays (like joining Goodwill in giving back!) So instead of putting toys or candies in my countdown, I’ve written out holiday activities that will allow my family to really enjoy this December.
Supplies: wine rack, clear baubles (equal to the number of days you’ll be counting down), tissue paper, regular paper, pen, permanent marker, scissors, a circle to trace (slightly smaller than your baubles) and fishing line.
First, determine how many days you want to countdown, and how to arrange your baubles. I didn’t want to do 25 days this December because it’s a busy month for us! So I stuck with eight baubles. I laid them out on the floor with my wine rack and found an arrangement that I liked. Drape baubles at different lengths to include multiple days on one dowel!
Cut out strips of regular paper that are twice as long as the depth of your bauble (including the lid) and are thin enough to fit in the mouth of it (mine were ½” wide and 8” long). You’ll need an equal number of strips and baubles. Using a circular item (like the base of a drinking glass), trace circles on the tissue paper (two for each day) then cut those out.
Number your circles and write activities on your paper strips. A little trick I used to get nearly perfect numbers was using my computer screen as a light box! Type each number into a word document, turn your screen brightness all the way up and hold the paper to the screen then trace! Make sure you are tracing lightly and NOT using the permanent marker as your screen is delicate and the marker will bleed through. I used my regular pen for the first tracing and didn’t press hard. You can decorate the rest of your circles however you’d like – I put snowflakes on some and left others blank. These will only show on the back of the baubles.
Layer each numbered circle with one of your un-numbered circles and roll it up around your pen, leaving both of the right sides facing out. Slip this tube of paper into your bauble, then use your pen to flatten it out inside.
Fold your activity strip in half and slide it in between both of the circles in the bauble. Use your pen to help separate the circles. Repeat until all of your baubles have been filled, then hang them on your wine rack with the fishing line!
Have a wonderful time celebrating the season in your own way. This is such a festive time of the year!