I like to make advent calendars for my kids ... and by kids I mean young adults who are 20 and 22 years old. Crazy, I know. I can't help myself though. I really love being creative and especially when that creativity means giving little treats to younguns that are off at university and working hard.
Every year I think of a new advent calendar to send them. I could make the same one every year, but where would be the fun in that. So I thought long and hard about what to make this year. The few non-negotiables were that the advent calendar must be able to be mailed since both Kate and William are away at university; the treats would be chocolates because in our family treats=chocolates; and it had to be suitable for someone in their 20s.
After some thought I came up with the idea to make personalized advent calendars so they would suit the individual child. I used toilet paper rolls cut in half for both advent calendars. They were the perfect size to hold the chocolates and were the right price.
Personalized Advent Calendar #1
Kate was overseas for the first half of this year studying at the University of Bath and doing lots of traveling. I decided to make her advent calendar with little sketches illustrating her year as it unfolded. I started off with our home with the Christmas tree up and then her flight to the UK and then her time in Paris etc. I cut out small rectangles the size of the half toilet paper rolls and sketched and then painted the little scenes to fit. I either used Kate's photos or searched online for some inspiration as to what to draw because believe me I'm not able to draw without looking at a picture. I then glued the little scenes on the toilet paper rolls which contained the chocolates. The little chocolate packages were then taped to three rows of ribbons which were attached to a branch.
Personalized Advent Calendar #2
William has been studying hard and learning not one, but two languages - both French and Chinese. I really admire his perseverance. He has taught himself enough that he has read French philosophy and the Tao Te Ching in the original languages. So I thought his advent calendar could help expand his vocabulary to include Christmas-related words, you know words like 'candle', 'joy', 'sheep' - things that might not show up in a philosophy book.
Fortunately I had the help of our eldest son (who is also learning Chinese and French) and our daughter-in-law. It actually took some managing to get the Chinese character drawn with the corresponding French word (done the right way up) on the back. I was the translator and director (and photographer) and Malcolm drew the Chinese characters and Christie wrote the French word in calligraphy. It was definitely a team effort.
I assembled the calendar by putting the chocolate inside the half toilet paper roll, stringing a piece of twine through it, and taping it shut.
And then I packaged them up and sent them off to the hard-working students. The countdown begins!
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