Advent calendars have always been a big part of my family's Christmas traditions. We usually had a very traditional advent calendar, like the kind with the little Christmas snow scene accented in glitter, and little quaint pictures behind each window. I remember vividly when someone I knew had a chocolate-filled advent calendar -- being just a little bit jealous, but still the magic was in the simplicity.
When I got to college, my Mom did the most awesome thing for my best friend Melisa and I. She gave us advent gifts to help us count down not to Christmas, but until the day we got to come home. She gave us each one gift for each day of December that we would be in New Orleans. Most of them were simple things -- little Christmas decorations, a Christmas wall hanging, a CD (or maybe it was a tape -- I guess I'm dating myself). Each gift was wrapped up and we would open them together. I still remember how incredibly exciting that was and how much it meant to Melisa and me. We still talk about it and it is something I hope to do for Maddie some day.
This year, my Mom gave Maddie an awesome Eric Carle calendar that I talk about here. And she also gave us a quilted pocket calendar that I've stowed away for next year. But I've seen so many advent calendar ideas lately on Pinterest that I am seriously contemplating having a few calendars around the house.
Here are a few of them:
Originally posted at AubreyandLindsay. Each bag has an ornament for the Christmas tree.
Originally posted at HowDoesShe. I just really like the modern graphic look of this simple calendar.
Originally posted at KatherineMariePhotography. I love this idea. Wrap up 24 Christmas books (new or old -- it doesn't matter) and each night unwrap one to read. My Christmas book collection needs to grow a bit before I try this, but maybe by next year!