Friday, June 11, 2010

Magnetic Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar

I sit here wishing that I could turn back the hands of time and relive the early days of my life as a young mother. It is not the hectic pace that I miss, but the opportunity to make more memories during the height of my son's childhood.

Each time that I create something that I know my son would have enjoyed as a young child, deep seated feelings emerge from within me. How I wish I could have substituted this handmade advent calendar in place of the store bought ones that I'd purchase at the local drugstore with it's cardboard doors and waxy chocolate Santa's, simply because I didn't have the time it took to make one myself. Don't get me wrong. We still managed to create a zillion memories, waxy chocolate and all. But as I look back, I know it could have been better. Much better. Maybe I'm just thinking in hindsight. Realization is much clearer after the events have occurred and you have had sufficient time to think about it.

At the age of 22, my son isn't going to get a charge out of this glittery refrigerator advent calendar like he would have had at the age of 5. Of course, it is simply because he is a young adult now and the wonderment of childhood has diminished. He's still supportive when I show him what I've made but it's not the same. Sadly, this is what life is like at this stage of the game.

Let's build a memorable tradition with a Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar. Set this up on your refrigerator each year for the little ones to enjoy. Just think of the pleasure that they will have when you bring this out year after year.

To begin, you will need twenty-four, 7/8" x 12" strips of cardstock. The glittered card stock that I have chosen is very thick due to the coating of glue that was used to secure the glitter to the cardstock during manufacturing. The outcome is a very hard and durable rosette.

Fold each strip into 1/4" accordion pleats. Glue the ends together to form a continuous circle.

With needle and thread, take a running stitch close to the edge of one side of the accordion pleated circle, gathering the thread tightly to form a rosette.

Punch 24 circles from a 1" circle punch.
Punch 24 circles from a 1-1/2" circle punch.

Punch out numbers 1 through 24 with a 7/8" number punch. You can purchase ready made numbers in the scrapbooking section of your favorite store if you do not own number punches.

Glue the 1-1/2" circles to the backs of each of the rosettes.
Glue the numbers onto the front of the 1" circles.
Glue the 1" circles onto the face of the rosettes.

Glue a magnet onto a mini clothespin.

Glue the clothespin to the back of the rosette.

A glittery, sparkly, countdown to Christmas.

If you own a stainless steel refrigerator, you know that magnets will not stick to it. In this case, you will have to get yourself a magnetic board or cookie sheet to make this work.

Use the clothespins to hold a treat, a bible verse, or a Christmas memory to count down the days 'til Christmas.

As sad as this may sound, I can picture my then 5 year old sitting in front of the refrigerator arranging and rearranging these little magnetic rosettes every day until the arrival of Christmas. The sweet smile on his face. The excitement in his voice. The joy of early childhood.

A clear reminder to myself of the importance of making memories and of the reality of how quickly time passes.


12 comments: said...

What a lovely post and project! Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking. Just thinking about those pop-out waxy Santa calendars makes me smile. I bet your son looks back on them fondly as well. =)

ferne said...

Well, one day you will have the luckiest grandchildren to be the reciepients of all the wonderful things you make!

Stephanie D said...

This is why God made grandmothers.

As young mothers, usually working, and finding our way, it's so difficult to make so many handmade items. Either we hastily throw them together, or we make ourselves and others miserable with our attempts to make it perfect and on time. Those aren't good memories.

And to tell the truth, as a 5-yr-old, he probably wouldn't have appreciated it as much then, anyway. Too young. After all, when you're five, isn't candy what it's about, anyway? lol

Annette said...

Children grow so fast..
I love the idea of your advent calender,it looks so beautifull

Kristin said...

What a great idea Lettie. Maybe you should consider these wonderful ideas as projects for future grandchildren.

sweetiepie said...

Lettie, what a great project and so simple. I am going to try to make one for each of my grandkids. I am sure glad you are so clever. Thanks for sharing.

Take care.

Susan @ Blackberry Creek said...

Very nice advent calendar, Lettie. What fun it would be to have my kids little again and we could make this together. Hope you are doing well.

Unknown said...

Hi Lettie, Wow, I have to say that I think I just went through about 1000 posts. I guess I haven't been here in a while. You have been quite busy and I love all the projects you have been making. I especially love the cupcake projects! But this advent calendar is just wonderfully clever!

Country Girl in the City said...

I love this idea! I will bookmark it to make one day. I have a five years old boy, an almost three year old daughter, and a one year old boy. I often feel like I could be doing more to make special memories for them. Time goes by so quickly and I want to make the most of it. Thanks for this post!

Janine said...

A cool idea and a great project.
You are so full of lovely and creativ ideas.
You rock!!

Coleen said...

Hi Arlette,

I am pleased to have discovered your site. I like paper and fabric crafting...mixed-media artist. I have a Facebook fan page where I'd like to share some of your crafts with you credited, of course. It's other crafters who like to create like me. It's just where I share the really fun stuff. It will bring you a wider audience. Let me know that this is OK. I've put one on so you can see what I mean. Just enter vintageterrace2 in the Facebook search box. Thanks, Coleen

D-lyn said...

You know this is awesome...
and you can look forward to the day your grandkidies love you creations for their magic!