Advent: A Free Printable

Guys. Perhaps a little known fact about me is that I am completely obsessed with paper crafts. Completely. I’m even more obsessed with Advent calendars.

Growing up, we had an Advent calendar that was a sewn wall hanging made by my mom. You moved this sweet little bear around the rooms of his house looking for the spirit of Christmas until he ended up in the living room on Christmas morning. We fought like crazy over who got to move that bear.

Incidentally, my mother combed Ebay to find the material in hopes of making one for each of her children. She was able to find it, but in the true spirit of Christmas, each set runs like $300, so…no Advent bear for us. I mean she loves us very much, but not three hundred bucks for a sewing project much.

I am not a seamstress. I had the option of taking home ec or child development as a high school elective. I chose child development, which has served me well and allowed me to freak out the old ladies at church with one of those robot babies, which was amusing. However robot babies don’t teach you to sew. Neither do real babies, as it turns out, so I stick to paper crafts.

Anyway, my devotion to paper crafts and Advent calendars is such that, when I saw this adorable, free printable from Mr. Printable I knew I had to make it!

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It’s the cutest little paper Christmas town I’ve ever seen! Plus, this was super easy, much less work than it seems. All you need is a printer, card stock, scissors and some tape and you’re in business.

I split the project up over a few days whenever I had the time. The houses are tiny, which is what makes this so magical, I think, but it does get a bit tedious doing all that cutting and folding in one sitting. The buildings are the perfect size for M&Ms or other small candies if you want to include a little treat, too. (And who doesn’t?)

If you’re anything like me, you never get an Advent calendar started in time anyway, so why not make this little town to gussy up your mantle or windowsill? I think it would actually be a lot of fun to do the calendar in reverse, making a new little building every day until Christmas. This would be a good opportunity to pray with/ for something. I wouldn’t recommend this for the preschool or early grade set because of all the tiny cutting, but older kids would love this project!

Again, you can get the free printable here.

Do you have a favorite Advent calendar or activity? I’m always looking to broaden my horizons!

Here are a couple more pictures cause I think it’s so cute!

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PS. Since my computer is on the dead side, I’m posting everything from my smartphone. 1.) Holy cow, technology is amazing and 2.) Please forgive any weirdness or typos as I have fat thumbs. Okaythanksbye.

Advent, Advent, The Little Light Burns!

It’s Advent! This is one of the most wonderful times in the liturgical year and yet, so many times it sneaks past me. It’s not hard to see how this “little lent,” a season of quietness, preparation, and waiting can easily be overshadowed by the other chaos of the season. This year, however, I’m making a concerted effort to really do Advent right.

 

So far, I’m up to my usual antics of not doing things quite on schedule, like making our Advent wreath at the last minute, or getting the Advent calendar out a couple of days too late, because we’re nuts around here. However, I think our biggest goal is to do it. The hubz and I rarely have days off together, so our family time is pieced together bit by bit throughout the week. We might not do things on “schedule” but we make time somehow.

 

Here are some ways we’re making time in our crazy lives to celebrate Advent:

 

We’re TV free – This was a subconscious addition to our Advent traditions, but is probably the best thing we’ve done this year. It’s also something that we’ve been wanting to do for some time. I’m so, so glad we did it. It all just fell into place when we rearranged furniture to put up our Christmas tree.

 

I grew up in a home without a television, for which I am eternally grateful. We like having the ability to watch TV when we want/need to, but I’ve just found that it’s too big a temptation for us and for Maggie to focus on “fluff” TV and neglect our time together. So, what better time than Advent to realign our lives and to focus on one another! It has been a night and day difference for us. Mags is better behaved, she and I work better together throughout the day, and we don’t miss the TV at all! There may come a time when the it moves back to a common area of our home, but I think that being TV-free for Advent will a tradition we keep!

 

We light an Advent wreath. It’s simple and magical.

 

We celebrate St. Nicholas’ Feast Day – We love St. Nicholas at our house! What could be better than leaving your shoes out the night before and finding them filled with goodies the next morning? Really, the only thing better than that is finding out that this predecessor to Santa was an incredibly passionate defender of the faith who may or may not have punched people in the face. The man was legit.

 

In honor of St. Nicholas’ generosity toward others, we went through all of the  toys lying around and selected some to donate to charity. I’m not sure Mags gets the concept of giving yet, but we’re working on it, for sure.

 

The word on the street is that St. Nick left this for the girls:

Usually St. Nicholas’ presents fit in  the shoe, but holy cow can you believe wonderfulness of this?? I’m looking forward to a lot of time spent reenacting the nativity story.

 

And finally, we take a break from social engagements – We’re not avoiding friends or parties out of antisocial cruddiness, we just take this season just be together with our little family. It’s a sweet time to grow together.

 

What are your Advent traditions? I’m linking up with Little Holy Days brought to you by Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas and her cohorts. Check out what other families are doing this season and link up your traditions, too!
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Note: I’m not technologically literate enough to make my link button work, but just visit Carrots for Michaelmas and you can get involved that way. 🙂