Happy Christmas!! (We can totally say that now we’re properly into December, can’t we? I may just start every post with it from here on out. 😉 )
If you follow over on Instagram you’ll maybe have seen me putting together our alternative advent calendar yesterday. Last minute as always, but I like to think that I work to my full potential under a bit of time pressure. 🙂
Every year we try to put together an activity based calendar in addition to the usual chocolate ones. We have found that it really helps us to focus on the meaning of the season and take a little time out from the hustle and bustle to do things together as a family. I’ll not lie – it’s often a challenge to fit activities in around school and all the extra-curriculars, but it is always so worth it when we do and it’s something the kids really look forward to now, year on year.
If you’ve been following for a while you might remember this branch version that I did a couple of years ago, but after coming across this old (vintage shall we say?) ladder, I had a notion to involve it in proceedings this year. Andrew doesn’t even question my crazy ideas any more. It’s why I love him. 🙂 He was out painting woodworm killer on this the other evening in the dark, so I’m fully giving him his dues for helping me out with it. Everything’s a team effort around here!
After bringing the ladder in and propping it up, I wound some copper wire lights around it. These ones are battery operated and so easy to bend into shape. I also love that the wire is so fine that it almost disappears into the surface it is around. We’ve also used them on the branch that we have above our dining table!
I decorated the ladder with a mix of little paper bags (left over from Eva’s birthday movie night!) glass baubles and sprigs of holly, each with a number for each day of advent. In or on each is also an activity, or a clue to a little treat hidden somewhere around home. I used Broadway font to print everything out and then just stuck them on!
Baubles are mostly from Laura Ashley, and the beautiful snowflake one was kindly sent to me by Swarovski. Our activities range from simple things like reading a Christmas story or making a hot chocolate station, to baking shortbread and gingerbread houses, taking a trip to a Christmas market and delivering a random act of kindness to someone. I’ve tried to gauge them so that the simpler, easily achievable ones are on weekdays when the schedule is usually full, and the bigger more time consuming ones fall at the weekends. I think the key is in making it manageable really!
And there you go! One advent ladder patiently waiting for its Christmas tree partner in crime! 🙂 Hoping to get that in place this weekend and then I’ll have lots more festive home photos to share!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!! 😉