Monday, December 3, 2012

How To: Advent Calendar

The origin of the advent calendar started in Germany in the 19th century. By drawing a chalk line to mark off the days and lighting a candle every night the days leading up to Christmas were easily counted. 

The first printed calendar was produced by Gerhard Lang in Germany. When he was a child, his mother attached pieces of candy to a cardboard picture and each day he would take one off. His first produced calendars consisted of miniature colored pictures that would be attached to a piece of cardboard each day in December.  After Gerhard created his advent calendar, others started popping up all over and eventually someone made one with little doors to open on each day. Inside the door, the child would find a small piece of candy or a trinket relating to Christmas.
The German calendars were sold until World War II, at which time production was stopped due to the war shortages. After the war though, the production of calendars resumed in 1946 being produced by Richard Selmer, and President Eisenhower can take the credit for helping the tradition grow in the United States.  A newspaper article in 1946 showed the Eisenhower grandchildren with an advent calendar, and from then on the concept was planted in the United States.  
The advent calendar tradition grows every year, and is the tradition I remember most in my childhood.  This year I set out to create an advent calendar for my house, and it turned out so cute and so simple I just had to share. 
First, I went to the local craft store and purchased small paper mache boxes and acrylic paint in green, yellow, and brown.

I then painted 20 of the boxes green to make up the body of my Christmas tree, 1 of them yellow to make the star, and 4 of them brown to make the trunk of the tree.

After they were dry I glued magnets to the back of the boxes.

I then used a circle punch from my scrapbooking days and punched out 25 circles.  I labeled the circles 1-25 and used chalk to color them. 

I glued the circles to the front of the boxes so that they resembled Christmas lights and then filled the boxes and hung them on the refrigerator!

This was such an easy project to complete and I hope you enjoy this craft as much as I did.  The directions are fairly straight forward, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

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