I love advent calendars. In fact, this year I'm sporting two: a delicious chocolate one which was a gift from the man, and a beautiful tea version from Bluebird Tea Co. I like to open them first thing in the morning, and find out what my cup of tea of the day is going to be. And then I squirrel it away for the evening, for those last few lovely moments before bed when I can sit down, snuggled in my dressing gown with a delicious, warming cup of tea, a chocolate and my daily Journal Your Christmas prompt and video. It's quite a blissful way to end each day.
For the past couple of years I have made an advent calendar too. Not for myself; it's not terribly exciting opening the doors if you know what's behind them. But it's nice to give one away as a surprise, or just a nice little festive gesture. Plus I enjoy the crafting.
This year, I made an advent calendar for my form at school. I've got a group of 6th-formers this year, and it's a small group, but it's been a busy term with everything from settling into sixth form routines, managing independent study, navigating the step up in difficulty of their courses and applying for university and preparing for interviews. There's often not much I can do to help with these things - they just have to be done - but I can provide nibbles every so often, lend a sympathetic ear to the odd whinging session and, now that it's Christmas, provide an advent calendar.
I got this one free with an issue of Mollie Makes: it came as a little kit 24 sheets of pretty, patterned paper and a versatile little wooden template which can be used to make large or small houses with different arrangements of windows and doors.
I spent a cosy few evenings with a cuppa at my elbow and Blue Planet on the TV (which everyone should watch), tracing round the template, cutting out houses and carefully slicing out holes for doors and windows. Then another evening with re-runs of Ugly Betty (I miss that show!) scoring folds and gluing down little flaps. The final flap of the roof just tucks in and isn't stuck down, ready for the houses to be filled with goodies.
I only needed 12 for my form to count down to Christmas, as there're only twelve of them, and we break up before Christmas, so we can't count down all of advent anyway. But I made all 24 anyway, as I was on a role and I can always use the others as decorations (or photo props!). Inside each one, I put a little home-made lip balm, a chocolate coin and a teabag, some of Bluebird Tea Co's Gingerbread Chai (it's non-caffeinated but delicious and Christmassy). I think my form are enjoying opening their little houses but it's hard to tell as they aren't at their most awake first thing in the morning.
And that's this year's advent calendar. If you have any idea what I should do with my remaining little boxes, let me know!
P.S. This post is part of a series I'm writing throughout December in response to Shimelle's scrapbooking class, Journal Your Christmas. By blogging each day, I hope to savour each and every lovely moment of the most wonderful time of the year, and have some great memories to look back on.