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I really love Christmas. Some of my fondest memories are clamouring around the formal living room when I was under 10 years old, acting out the Christmas songs from the Amy Grant Christmas tape. I still listen to those songs and get sentimental. P’s birthday is on Christmas Eve, so Christmas is his absolute favourite time of year too. I’ve never really related to how people don’t like this season – but then again I love my family, I love making crafts and baking cookies, and I absolutely can’t get enough of buying gifts for people. One of those gifts is P’s annual advent calendar.

For the past 3 years I have made P an advent calendar – a series of packages he gets to open over the course of the month. The first year I didn’t have any wrapping paper, so I used green construction paper and wrapped up each of the gifts individually, then suspended them from leftover scraps of ribbon and suspended them over the doors in the hallway. It was pretty ghetto style.

The second year I wrapped the gifts in IKEA wrapping paper (that coordinated, thank you very much!) and hung them from the curtain rod in the bedroom with IKEA-issue ribbon. Definitely an improvement.

Last year, 2011, I made the following advent calendar, which is a mish-mash of bunting and kraft paper – two trends I was completely loving.

Well, not Kraft paper exactly – more like dollar store lunch bags. Hey – I was improvising! First I cut out square shapes that folded in half into a triangle in the above shape. I then filled them with the gift – it’s usually something I get from the bulk section at Save-On, or a small candy cane or one of those individually-wrapped candies Aero et al are coming out with lately, and took my sewing machine and sewed a zig-zag in red across the top.

Then I did this 24 times. Well, 23 MORE times. You get the idea.

It was a bit of an art getting the zig zag to work properly in paper, without coming too loose.

Then I cut a small square of paper and drew a backwards number on it, simplified and squared so I could easily do it on the machine in a simple stitch.

I then sewed on the line with the machine.

Well…kinda sorta on the line. I’ve never been good with straight lines…don’t even ask about my scissor abilities. There’s a reason why I didn’t freehand this!

Then I snipped it and turned it over and – I bet you didn’t see this coming – it’s actually a 5!

Yeah, it’s not perfect, but I was going for the homemade look, not the Martha Stewart look. Okay, I was going for the Martha Stewart look but I need to come to grips with the fact that I’m not her. All my projects are a good lesson in that.

Anyway, then I simply taped it to the front of one of the buntings:

Then I did this 23 more times. Phew!

Count them Martha – they’re all there!!

Like she even has time to pick her nose, let alone read my blog.

Then I punched holes in each corner of the bunting and hung them by some red ribbon from the bookshelves. Unfortunately, I can’t find my picture of this bit! Argh! Oh well, you get the idea. I did it in 2 rows of 12 each. 🙂 (I’m a math genius, did I ever mention that?)

Anyway, this year I’ve been thinking…I need to make an advent calendar that lasts more than one year! These take hours each year, so it would make WAY more sense to just put the effort in one year and reap the benefits for the rest of our lives! Okay, maybe for 10 more years.

I’m starting to put it together, so I’ll post that in a few days – I definitely have a deadline on that!