As you all know, I loooooove lists, schedules, calendars, and plans of all kinds. Therefore, any season that not only is filled with holiday cheer and goodwill but also is centered around countdowns and calendars is right up my alley.
We have a number of advent calendars going--a traditional one my Mom gave to the girls, a small religious one from Jillson's Sunday School, and a "paper chain" one that benefits Nets for Life, a program which raises money to buy mosquito netting for families in sub-Sahara Africa who are at risk for malaria.
And then there's mine. I made this little 4x6 album to use as an advent calendar. I pulled 24 pictures from Christmases past, some patterned paper that makes me happy, and went at it. I adhered number stickers to the outside of the pockets where the photos are for each day in advent (fulfilling the "calendar" part).
Then I made plain, white cardstock inserts with cute paper tabs (about 2 minutes to produce). These go behind the patterned paper.
Every day I pull a blank card out from behind the paper, write some memories on it, or describe a meaningful advent or Christmas tradition, and stick it back in, this time on top of the patterned paper. See?
My favorite things about this advent calendar are: (1) The mish-mash of photos from different years. (2) By the end of the month I will have "scrapbooked" (i.e. preserved) 24 pictures and memories. (3) It's re-usable. If I want to do this again next year, I can take out these 24 photos and the 24 written memories, slip them into a binder or a divided page protector, and start fresh with 24 more photos.
To be honest, I probably won't do this again right away. But when the kids are older (and more photos have been amassed), they can help record the memories of what is meaningful to them about the season.
Cost of this project: $4 for the album, which comes from Target.
Inspiration for this project: You guessed it. Stacy Julian, of course. See her example and instructions here.