So, just was we are a tree-up-on-Dec-1st, type of family, we are also a crack-out-the-advent-calendar type of family.
I didn't really grow up doing the advent calendar, but when I had kids, I thought it was a pretty fun idea and looked forward to counting down the days of December with the boys, with little treats all part of the deal.
However, with a handful of years managing super-tired, end-of-the-year, sugar fueled, nightmarish, little kid melt-down moments had me looking for a different way to celebrate.
Years ago, I came across the idea of a photo wreath on Sweet Paul, and loved the look of it. The love of the image of Wreath grew into a photo Advent Calendar.
Every year for the past 5 or 6, I print up a collection of photos from through the year - around 80 usually does it - the last few years I have been using Social Print Studio to get the shots printed (super easy upload, speedy delivery, dreamy card and matt printing - love, Love, LOVE). The photos are them mixed up and divided between 24 labeled bags.
Everyday, the boys get a bag down and each pull out a photo. We then have to work out what the photo is of, and when we think it happened during the year. Once the timing is nailed down, it gets pinned to the wreath in (clockwise) month order. Once completed, the Wreath is a photo memento of the year that has just been, and it stays with us during the coming year, until late November comes, and it's time to take it down and start again.
(For the wreath base, I use a polystyrene florist wreath, which it fixed to the wall using 3M removable tape.)
I love that it give us a tool to re-cap our year AND that it isn't all about lollies or MORE gifts.
For other great non-lollie advent ideas, Natalie over at The Indigo Crew had a great post last week, check it out.