Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Candy Calendar

Many many years ago (more than ten?), we received a darling candy advent calendar as a neighbor gift from my good friend Kelley.  She had taken a paper calendar and hot glued a wrapped Christmas candy on each day leading up to Christmas.  My kids loved it!  They loved it so much, that we have made them several times since.  I even made over a hundred of them for all of the kids at church one year. (I told you I have a thing for advent calendars!!)

I thought I would share a slightly different version with you here today.

Since we have been on a bit of a service kick lately, why not incorporate the service with the candy?  A hybrid if you will. Besides, everything is better with candy!

So, this is what you do.  Everyday you take a candy off of the calendar.  Quickly gobble up the delicious chocolate.  But, don't throw away your wrapper just yet.  Because written on the back of the wrapper is an act of service that you could perform some time during that day.  It's like a fortune cookie--but better! It's chocolate!!

Want to make one?

You will need to print out a calendar onto heavy cardstock.  I made one just for you!

(This calendar was designed using products from Weeds & Wildflowers Designs)

Then you need to print out this sheet of service strips.  Grab a piece of complimentary card stock and print these ideas on the back.  I used the "older children" ideas from yesterday's post.  I left some blank strips  in case you want to create some service suggestions of your own.

Cut out your strips.  You will need a bag of small individually wrapped candy bars.  I used Hershey Nuggets.  The above strips will be sized perfectly for them.  If you use a different kind of candy, the strip size may need to be adjusted.  You will also need some glue dots.  I used the glue dots to secure the new wrappers to the candy bars.  Then you will want to hot glue each candy bar into a square on the calendar.
Finally, back your paper calendar with a piece of poster board cut to size. (I actually cut down a file folder, because I didn't have any poster board on hand.)  Don't skip this step if you are planning on hanging your calendar.  The weight of the candy will cause your ribbon to rip through the paper if you don't!  Which brings us to the last step--punch a couple of holes in the top and thread some ribbon through them.  Hang in a place of prominence--and count down the days until Christmas!

Now that I have completed my candy calendar, I have a few suggestions:

1.  It occurred to me (a little too late) that I should have turned the candy bars avoid the candy slipping right out of the wrappers.  Don't do what I did.

2.  I think it would be super cute with some black sticker numbers on the candy bars themselves.  I would have added this, but I didn't have enough sticker numbers.  I suppose you could stamp some numbers onto the wrappers before you wrap the candy bars.  Again--I thought of this a little too late.

3.  You could make a calendar for each of your kids to avoid fighting over the candy.  Or, you could just take turns each day.  We have three kids.  We just let them each take a turn, and luckily 24 is divisible by three.  Mom and Dad could jump in and take a turn to even things out if they need to.

Enjoy!  Serving others is sweet!

UPDATE:  I have posted a 2012 calendar here!

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