Last year I made an advent calendar for Elias out of felt. While I was finishing it, I was massively pregnant with our second son. It was during that time about a year ago that I came up with the design for Simon’s advent calendar. Simon is a little young for an advent calendar this year, but I wanted to make it just so that it would be done.
This design was actually inspired by the advent altar frontal at our church. The frontal just has the star. I added the silhouette of Bethlehem underneath with my imagination.
The calendar is made entirely of felt (and thread). I embroidered the numbers on the pockets by hand. I also drew and sewed the star and the Bethlehem by hand. The pockets were stitched on by machine.
I thought a lot about my boys as I stitched for hours and hours after their bedtime the last two weeks or so. I hope they use these even after they are grown. But at the very least, for now the calendars will help my boys focus on the true reason for Christmas.
If you are curious about why there are 28 pockets, you can read my post from last year’s calendar here. In short, advent is not just about the month of December! It has anywhere between 22 and 28 days depending on what day of the week Christmas falls. This year, advent begins on December first so it doesn’t matter anyway, but sometimes we’ll need those extra days!
I filled Elias’ calendar with a small chocolate for each day along with a slip of card stock that tells him an activity we will do to prepare for Christmas. They range from getting a Christmas tree to celebrating St. Nicholas’ feast day to participating in the Christmas pageant at church to baking Christmas fudge for our neighbors.
Each pocket of Simon’s calendar is filled with a slip of card stock with one of the names of Jesus, and the verse where it can be found in the Bible. We’ll read the verse together as a family each day, and then make a poster with all the names on the wall for us to see as the days count down. We’ll look at names such as “Alpha and Omega” “Light of the World” and “Immanuel” There are 24 different names for 24 days in advent.
I’m even ready a day early this year! I hope the boys are excited when they come out and see the calendars tomorrow morning. Maybe it will build up some excitement before advent even begins!