I know it's way too early to be thinking about Christmas...

... but I need some inspiration.

Every year we make an advent calendar. Every year it's different and takes some time to make. And it being an advent calendar, it obviously need to be done by 1 December, and not 24 December - a fact that keeps escaping my mind so that I think I've got an extra month to think about it.

So what I'm going to do is post pictures of past calendars (only the past four years - before that, I hadn't yet gone digital), and hope that somebody comes up with ideas!

2009: Father Christmas' s house.

We worked on this together. 'Im indoors did the architecture, i.e. came up with the measurements for the bits of card to cut. He also chose the wall paper. Charlotte did all the little present boxes and Santa's big basketty thing. Max painted the snow on the roof and helped make the tree. It's been recycled into a school house for Max's playmobile. You can see it here.

2008:  The hot-air balloon.

Max has a thing about balloons - we see them a lot in Cappadocia. So I thought having a Christmas montgolfiere would be fun. I had a vague memory of building them out of paper when I was a kid and found a model on the web. We made it with Christmas wrapping paper and used a real balloon to keep it in shape - although we made sure Max didn''t know that as he has a bit of a phobia... It felt very unsafe suspending the balloon and all the presents inside the basket from a light bulb. But taking into account the general safety levels of the place I decided that, on the whole, this was fairly harmless.

2007: The Christmas Angel.

Also known as the Christmas tart. We did sort of overdo the make up a bit.
She was two papier mache balls made by the children pre-Max's balloon phobia. We filled the body part with the presents and the little golden stars are the numbered labels attached to the string. So you lift the head and pull on the right number. The strings got tangled a lot.
Her belly got recycled the following Easter into a pinata, and her head got the same treatment the year after that.

2006: the Elf's cupboard.

As in the place where Santa's little slaves keep the bits and bobs they need to build toys.

The inspiration for this one came while I was at the pub. A friend was going to the shop for a cigarette run and asked if I needed anything. So I asked him for twenty-four matchboxes, much to his hilarity. He's still one of our top Christmas goodies provider and regularly sends us packages from Canada.

So, what shall I do this year? Any ideas?

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JulieB said...

Wow Sandrine, what an amazing idea - so creative...and a different one every year?
We use the same one that I had as a child, which is basically a long ribbon with different Christmas stockings hanging off it. Might be a little boring in comparison to your past efforts. There's also always the train with different numbered carriages I suppose.
Sorry, not much use - will have a think and get back to you if I come up with anything better!

RedTedArt said...

Oh wow!! You awesomely creative lady!!! EVERY year a different one! WOW! The dolls house is brilliant. Actually they all are.

There 3 Advent Calendars here on "Christmas Get Crafty"... but not sure they are up to your standards: http://www.redtedart.com/2010/10/01/christmas-get-crafty/

Mmmh, will have a think for you though!

PS there is a Kids Get Crafty link up every wednesday... you should come and link up! :-)

Anonymous said...

Waaaaaa this is awesome. A fabulous idea and really amazingly detailed, I bet you had a ball - particularly with the house! I must admit I love the tart too (no comments pls) - laughed me lil socks off at the recycling! Much more fun than a Bob the Builder kitschy thing from Mueller! Well done x

Sandrine said...

Thank you all! Maggie, I've just been over to yours and saw the calendars: I love the landscape with box houses. I really think I'm going to try that one out. It should be easy to get the children to participate too!

@jencull (jen) said...

Kind of relieved that you have inspiration and I don't have to embarrass myself by offering up a bland suggestion!! Photos are fab Sandrine, look forward to seeing a photo of this years one......? Jen

Sandrine said...

@Jen - course I will! I'd better start on it soon as Charlotte is pestering me daily. You'd think I'd actually ever been late with it to listen to her!

Sarah of 'Catching the Magic' said...

Excuse me whilst I pick my jaw off the floor and wipe away the drool! You're asking for inspiration?! Wow, sorry, no can do! I am in stunned awe of your creativity! You are the Advent Calendar Godess!!!!

Sandrine said...

Thank you Sarah: I am so keeping that title!
The Advent Calendar Goddess.

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