The countdown to Christmas, with all its festive images and decorations, seems to begin before we’ve barely finished Thanksgiving leftovers. When Katie Brown, the host of PBS’ The Katie Brown Workshop, was growing up, the anticipation for Christmas mounted with the daily mail delivery. Each day, a new package would arrive from a distant relative containing presents like pajamas, matching dresses, or a honey baked ham.
“The only thing that seemed to calm my enthusiasm was the daily ritual of opening the new door on our Advent calendar.” says Brown. “The daily privilege of opening the next door was shared with my two sisters. And the wonderful surprise of discovering a new Christmas image behind the little calendar door each day kept my enthusiasm in check.”
Now Brown has a Santa enthusiast of her own to keep calm as her daughter shakes each gift under the tree and asks each night, “How much longer?” So Brown channels her anticipation with a homemade holiday Advent calendar of her own design.
This year, try constructing a calendar of your own for your little ones and family. “You can focus on a week at a time and fill each box with various treats,” says Brown. “A calendar day could be an ornament for your family to place on the tree, a special holiday note written on a card, or even a piece of candy for all to enjoy. Whatever you fill it with, know you are preparing the mood and setting the stage for many a Christmas memory.”
Katie Brown’s Homemade Advent Calendar
- Cut a square around your elf and dab a dot of glue on each corner. Tack your square onto the black velvet paper.
- Using your knife or nail scissors, carefully cut out the image. With craft glue, glue the elf silhouette into the bottom of the box - not the lid.
- To hang your box, punch 2 holes in the center of the top side of the bottom of the box and thread a ribbon through. Then tie a knot to create a loop.
- Punch 2 holes in the center of the lid, thread the same ribbon through, and then tie into a bow with the metal number hanging down.
- Place inside a small holiday treat or any other object that tickles your fancy.
For more seasonal crafts from Katie Brown, see her festive Party Plans.