Advent 2016

I’ve always loved this time of year and used to especially enjoy it as a teacher. I loved the fact that there was time for more fun and creativity in the lead up to Christmas. I loved spending afternoons making decorations with the kids, then hanging them up after school so they’d get the ‘wow’ moment the following day. I loved taking time out of our normal schedule for nativity rehearsals. I loved sharing a different story from my stack of Christmas books at the end of each day. I loved hearing their tales of naughty elves at home (last year there were so many naughty elf stories it became part of their homework!)

As I was thinking about all the fun things I used to do with the kids in the run up to Christmas, I decided that just because I’m not working in a school any more doesn’t mean I have to miss out on all those things! Now, I’ve had to scale back my ideas just a touch (the office where I work is actually in my friend’s house, and I’m not sure how she’d feel about me wrapping tinsel everywhere and hanging paper chains from the ceiling…) But I came up with an alternative that I’m just as excited about!

One of my favourite Christmas activities at school was making an advent calendar. I’d give each child a paper pocket to decorate with Christmas related pictures and I’d then fill each one with a small treat. Each morning a different child would choose a pocket which would be hung up after the treat had been eaten. With one or two small alterations I decided that this kind of advent calendar would work just as well in our office!

I love using book pages for crafts, and decided that these would make great pockets. A lot of them are simply folded in half then stuck together with double sided tape along the bottom and side. Some were made into pockets with a flap at the top and one or two were made with a book page and scrapbooking paper (these ones had slightly bigger gifts and needed to be stronger). After the pockets were filled with treats I sealed them with Christmassy tape or stickers.

Sarah (my boss and good friend) seemed pretty pleased with them – so much so that we spent time hanging them up before we did our ‘proper’ work!

I love how they look all hanging up the stairs.

In addition to the treats, each pocket also contains a small part of the Christmas story (I found free printable cards here). Each day after we’ve opened the pocket for the day we’ll add one more part of the story to the line.

I’ve so enjoyed putting these together! Have you made anything special for advent? Share them with me in the comments box – I’d love to hear your ideas so I can plan for next year!

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