It's an Advent

>Advent calendars are always a fun Christmas tradition, but they can be pricey. I thought I'd share a few inexpensive ideas for making your own count down to Christmas. I know that it's already the first day of December, but these ideas are so easy that you can make your own advent calendar today. Keep in mind that I'm showing you the SIMPLE version. You can make these as fancy as you desire.
This idea has been around for several years, but sometimes the old ideas are really the best. All you need is plastic wrap, twenty four items of your choosing, and plenty of ribbon for tying (I used curling ribbon but you can use the real fancy ribbon too). The items can be as simple and inexpensive as using candy kisses or as elaborate and costly as using full size candy, little toys, or tiny tree ornaments. That's the beauty of this idea, you can customize it to your family.
First pull out a long sheet of plastic wrap.
It's best to leave it on the roll and cut it after you know how much you need. Lay out the items of your choosing in a line down the middle of the wrap, leaving a little space between each item. When all twenty-four items are laid out, cut off the plastic wrap leaving six to eight inches from the final item. Take one side of the wrap and fold it over the items, (similar to wrapping a burrito). Fold the other side over and roll the entire line of items into a long skinny tube. Cut short lengths of ribbon and tie in between each item. If you want to hang the tube of goodies you can attach it to a small wreath or you can do what I did and tie onto an inexpensive bracelet. If you want the bracelet to look like a wreath, simply cut small strips of plastic wrap or ribbon and tie several onto the bracelet until it's full and fluffy.
Each day cut below the ribbon to reveal that day's goodie.

The dollar store is a great place to find items to make advent calendars.

I picked up this sticker book to use
for the numbers on the advent items.
I found these cute little boxes in the wedding section. There are eight to a package which means
you only need three packages.
Fold and fill each little box with a treat.
Attach a number to each box, then set all of the boxes
on a pretty cake plate or in a beautiful bowl.
Now you have an advent calendar that doubles
as a simple, elegant Christmas decoration.

These little metal containers can also be found in
the wedding section of the dollar store.
You can pop out the clear part of the lid and trace
around it on wrapping or scrapbook paper.
Cut out the circle, and pop it back into the lid.
Add the numbers and fill the containers with little treats.
You can add strong magnets to the back of the container, if you want to stick them onto a cookie sheet or the fridge.
Or, simply fill a basket with the metal containers.

Try making an advent calendar filled with activities instead of candy or treats. Some suggestions include:
Go on a nature walk
Write a letter to Santa
Do a good deed for a neighbor
Read a Christmas story together

Give money to a bell ringer

Go for a ride to see Christmas lights
String popcorn or cherrios & hang outside to feed the birds
Watch a Christmas movie in your pj's
Make an ornament

Deliver canned food to a shelter or food bank
Write and mail a letter to someone you love
Put together a puzzle, or make your own
Go caroling
Bake cookies and secretly deliver them to someone
Have a snowball fight (No snow? Use socks rolled into balls)
Play a board game
Go sledding or another outdoor activity
Make a gingerbread house with graham crackers and frosting

Cut out paper snowflakes
Write and illustrate a Christmas story
Visit a relative or friend
Have a melted chocolate dip party---dip fruit, pretzels, candy canes, etc.
Make thank you cards to be sent after Christmas
Read Luke 2 and act out the nativity