Happy December 1st, everyone! I don't know about you, but now that I have kids, this season takes on a whole new meaning each year. What used to be a season of pretty lights, traditions and cheer has turned into seeing those things through the innocence of my girls' eyes. There is absolutely NOTHING like it!
I wanted to share a few traditions that I have started with my girls. The first, which started today, is our Christmas Advent Calendar. This is something my parents used to do for my brother and I when we were little and I wanted to pass on the tradition to my girlies. My brother and I used to wake up every day so excited to see what was on the card or in the pocket of my mom's handmade calendar. This is what I created this year for our new calendar, thanks to a steal from Scrapbooksteals.com...
The calendar itself came as plain as can be with naked wood and cardboard. I painted mine with acrylic paint to match the papers I was using. I also created a file for my Cameo to cut out the pieces of paper that I wanted to cover the front of the drawers with. Some of them turned out a bit wonky, but wow did that make it So. Much. Easier!
I used papers from Crate Paper's Snow Day collection, which was also a steal which I purchased at Scrapbooksteals.com's retreat in October. I love this collection because it's not overly Christmas-y or holiday-ish. It can be used way beyond the holiday season.
The collection that I purchased at the crop didn't contain all of the papers from the Snow Day line, so I was pretty giddy when I found a 12x12 paper pad at Michaels that had all of them! If you want to look for it, it is the Recollections brand and it's called Peppermint Twist. My daughters had so much fun picking out fun trees and presents for me to cut out and place in the shadow box.
This morning, our Advent Calendar contained something more than just a note about where the girls would find their new Christmas pajamas...our resident elf, Holly, decided it would be a good place to spend the day. :)
This is a tradition that my husband and I started a couple years ago and we absolutely LOVE it! I found this adorable little elf ornament at Target a couple years back (they still have them and they are MUCH cuter this year, to boot!), cut the loop off the hat and decided she would be our friendly elf friend. My girls love running around to see where Holly is hiding and always run up to me with excitement to get me to go look at where she is. The girls talk to her (sometimes read: tell on the other sister to her) throughout the day. (Side note: I love that our elf isn't the typical Elf on a Shelf elf because how in the world would I explain it when the girls see that one in the stores and catalogues??)
A few weeks ago, Holly left a note with the two journals below...
These are the "Dear Santa" books I created last year when I was on the Authentique Design Team, thanks to inspiration from fellow DT member and friend Heather. The note that was left with them said that the girls should work on their lists and then she would return the books to Santa on the first night she returns to our house. It was so fun to look through the first lists that the girls created last year and have them add to it this year. I really hope the girls "believe" for many years to come as I think this will become a treasured memory of their childhoods.
Do you and your families have any fun traditions for the holiday season? I would love to hear some! Be sure to check back tomorrow...I will start sharing Christmas cards that I have made!