Well hello, Mrs Claus!


For some reason, I’ve gone all lavish this Christmas. Things that I’ve resisted in previous years are suddenly my new best friends. I’m not sure if I’ve been worn down after years of pestering, or if I’ve got a special dose of Christmas fever, but this year when the kids wrote down ‘iPod or 3ds’ or their Santa list, I just smiled and nodded.
In the past I’ve kept the material side of this holiday in the background, focusing instead on family and food and love. But this year, neither kid received much for their birthday. And the oldest is now a geriatric nine-years-old and still device free. So I’ve caved in, the deed is done (and the credit card groaning) and now I can’t wait to see the excitement on Christmas morning.

Each year the kids have also hassled for a shiny shop-bought advent calendar. Because I’m a scroogey bah-humbug, poo-poo mum, I’ve never let them have one. AS IF they need any further excitement (and sugar) pre-Christmas! But with the special fever attacking my brain, this year I’ve not only given in to the whole materialistic-lolly-manufacturer-driven debacle, but I’ve MADE them an advent calendar.

But even in the midst of the mayhem, I’m essentially a meanie. They can HAVE a lolly each day and enjoy a big countdown, but they have to give me something in return. If they want to unclip their bag and each take out their lolly, they have to have a drawing or piece of writing to leave in it’s place. Something that they’ve had to sit and think about. Maybe a drawing or sentence about their favourite things, something they’ve learned this year, a portrait of someone they love, or something that they’re grateful for.


I figure by Christmas I’ll have 24 cute pieces of paper that I can staple and store – a perfect snapshot of each of them in 2013.


Now I think about it, I think my Christmas fever is triggered by awareness of how quickly the years are going by, and how nice it is to be SO excited about Santa and family and food and love.

Maybe you want to join in? You can download the printable with everything you need here.

13 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    samleader said,

    I love this idea! So thoughtful and you’ll end up with a lovely record to boot. Well played, Wendy, well played.

  2. 3

    Melissa Ross said,

    I may have to steal this idea. I bought the kids the wooden advent calendars last year and struggled to fill them with non edible treats. ‘Draw your own’ days just might help me to pad it out!

  3. 5

    Anne At Home said,

    I’m the same – have totally gone crazy this year, especially with decorations for the house (lights, reindeer, the whole she-bang). And I think it’s for the same reason; my eldest is nearly 8 and still TOTALLY believes but this could be the last year. Many of her friends don’t believe in Santa so its just a matter of time. Merry Christmas and thanks for the calendar.

  4. 7

    Vanessa said,

    Wendy, what a wonderful idea! I’ve seen the do it yourself advent calendar before, but I love the idea of giving something to get the reward. My son needs some extra practice with his writing. What a great idea to encourage that.

    Thanks as always for the inspiration!


  5. 9

    Nicole said,

    I to think this may be the last year of truly believing in Santa ( my daughter is 8) but I bought an advent calendar from Smiggle. Guilty time poor full time working mum, but no lollies in it! I have also succumbed to the endless pestering. I guess I will unpack Xmas on Monday…..

  6. 10

    Danni said,

    Reblogged this on I am Danni and commented:
    I really like this idea for an advent Calendar.
    I might make my own but put different things in each bag for the boys to enjoy.

  7. 12

    […] Vegie Smugglers posted this very cute idea of an advent calendar using paper bags. You can use whimsical ones like the ones above, or plain ones will do too. I love that this idea gives you more room to work within what you put in them. […]

  8. 13

    […] cookie? Why not get out 25 little bags, assign each a number and fill each bag with a little treat? Here is a set of cute little Christmas calendar […]

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