Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Advent Calendars

You guys. I'm having the hardest time spelling "calendars." It's annoying the crap out of me. Not literally, just figuratively. I want to spell it "calenders" for whatever reason. If I ever spell something wrong, I really don't mean to. Probably a typo because I love spelling things correctly. But apparently when it comes to calendars, I don't want to spell it correctly. So if you come across it spelled incorrectly, call me out. Please.

On a serious, but not serious note...Advent calendars could possibly be one of my favorite things besides stocking stuffers. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas gifts too. Who doesn't? Although I probably love giving gifts more than anything, but give me an advent calandar & a stocking and I'm set! Growing up we had this big wall hanging for an advent calendar and I remember Curt and I picking out our little gifts from the pockets every day. Knowing me I probably stole his gifts or bossed him into letting me have them for a while. Another reason I probably loved advent calendars...double gifts. Sorry Curt.

Still to this day, my mom does awesome stockings for all of us, even the dog. No joke. Carter gets spoiled. She rocks at gift giving....it's a nice mix of practical things (I love the practical gifts) plus a few fun stuffers. I'm getting really excited thinking about it and we're still 23 days shy of when we get our stockings. Like really excited.

Anyway...Ty and I don't pick our gifts from a wall hanging, but I did make an advent calendar for us a few years back. If it hadn't taken me so long to do it, I'd do a new version every year (scroll below to see some of the advent calendars I'm in love with). Instead, we change up the gift ideas and frequency. And by that I mean we've done the following:

-we rotated turns every other day
-rotated weeks (this year I'm week one and three, he's two and four)
-gave/give small gifts
-set a specific set amount each person could spend (makes for some creativity)
-certain days had to be little love notes
-some days had to be educational or spiritual (learning about Christmas or looking into bible verses)
-other days had activities instead of gifts

And so on and so forth. It's great. A nice variety, hilarious and creative gifts, and lots of fun little notes! Here's what ours looks like: 

And for advent calendar ideas, see below. Click on the photo to take you to the "how to."
Pinterest is great for daily gift ideas, activity suggestions, and free printables.

The reduce, reuse, recycle advent...
repurpose household items, give gifts around the house, put notes in the rolls for activities, etc.

For the Lego lovers!

THIS website has the following three advent calendars along with many more favorites of mine!
It's worth a peek for darling ideas, most of which will be incredibly easy to whip up.

HERE's a good link for family activities you can use for the advent days.

Have fun with your gifts, your activities, and little notes to each other. 
As you open the gifts and activities, don't forget to tell the story as you go!

♥The Stanleys