The Christmas countdown

02/12/2012

I have the potential to be quite creative. If I do say so myself. <Insert arrogant hair-flick here!>

My problem (ahem) is more with the follow-through.

There was the curtain onto which I was going to hand-sew beautiful beads: I did several shapes before deciding I was bored… leaving my mother to finish it off (she offered, I swear!). Then there was the old coffee table I was going to cover in a mosaic. I spent a fortune on little glass tiles about 10 years ago – but threw away (unopened) during my recent move! And so forth. (Rinse. Repeat.)

If I had an endless supply of money and someone to do stuff for me, I would have seriously stunning things. (I’m just sayin’…)

Anyhoo, after some recent angsty posts I thought I’d link-up with Tina today in her Saturday Christmas series (and yes, I know it’s Sunday here in Oz).

This decision may also surprise you as I’m a bit lot Bah Humbug when it comes to Christmas. Nonetheless, I thought I’d share an idea I came across five or six years ago in a ‘Real Living‘ magazine.

Thankfully, although I was again the ‘ideas’ girl, my less apathetic mother who enjoys ‘tinkering’, joined the fun and WE PULLED IT OFF. Several times over.

I loved the idea of this Advent calendar-with-a-difference and I’ve since heard of similar projects.

This one allows you to be as inventive as you like. Bascially you choose 24 small gifts and wrap them (my mother made bags of varying sizes out of Christmas material for each day), before attaching a number / date. We used cute little cut-out Christmas shapes (again compliments of my mum). See what I mean about me being the ideas girl….?!

The inclusions were meant to be small: even just a note gifting a free hug or a kiss. We made ours for my niece (and my parents’ only grandchild). And each morning in December she got to open a little pressie. Naturally it got complicated. I started buying $20 gifts which were a bit over-the-top and I suspect expectations became raised as other gifts (trinkets or magnets and the like) no longer held the same allure. Nevertheless we did it for two or three years, giving up just a couple of years ago when my niece reached her early teens.

But… it’s a lovely idea and such a treat for littlies. In fact… I can imagine it being used for other purposes. I had this little fantasy that if I was to ever marry I’d do up one for my husband-to-be, including a thoughtful saying or small gift each day (and no… it WASN’T about sexual favours… in case you’re wondering!); but a similar thing could be done in the lead-up to  a major birthday and so forth.

I know that you’ve already lost a day or two of December, but it’s worth thinking about if you’re creatively inclined.

PS. I’m so Bah Humbug about Christmas (as well as very anti-clutter) I’m thinking of even avoiding Christmas decorations this year. Is that wrong?

Are you a lover of all-things-Yuletide? 

Today I’m linking up with Tina Gray {dot} me and her Christmas-themed blogs!

 

 

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo Tracey December 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Love it…I’m a tad bah humbug-y, but the tree & decos did go up today.

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Debbish December 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I’m trying to decide whether to put a few ‘tasteful’ decorations up or not worry at all!

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Annaleis @ Teapots and Tractors December 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Our house looks like an elf exploded! But the kids love it. Your advent calendar idea is great. I know what you mean about the kids expecting more and more. Mine asked for a computer for Christmas – really what happened to a toy truck and a doll!

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Debbish December 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I think Christmas is very different when there are kids around Annaleis. What a lovely time!!! And yes, my aunt is buying her grandson an iPad, so expectations are building!

Deb

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Mel December 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Im so like you Deb! I love the idea of advent calendars; I think because I had a cute little wooden one with doors that opened to little treats & knick knacks when I was growing up, but Im so anti-Christmas….I guess it’s because I dont have a lot of family, so it’s always pretty low key and this year especially so, and I also dont like clutter. Jay spent 10 minutes smelling the fresh, real Christmas trees in Woolies last night….like a weirdo…I had to pull him away before he got carted off!!!
I do however have a grand plan to make a wreath for my apartment front door. I hope I actually get around to it!
Heres to the Christmas spirit; our own way!

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Debbish December 2, 2012 at 8:14 pm

LIke you I don’t have a big family. When my niece was little Christmas was more of a focus but in many ways it’s just another day for me. I’ve actually had 3 or 4 Christmases alone and it hasn’t bothered me.

And yes, it’s hard for Christmas decorations to be anything but clutter!

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Rae December 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I can think if another use for this idea -think incentive!
When trying to accomplish a goal, little incentives or
rewards along the way can be quite motivating. A weight
loss goal is one that I find it hard to keep motivated to
accomplish and I don’t agree with rewarding weight loss
anyway. However, I do believe in rewarding my efforts to
change and maintain the healthy behaviours that will
likely result in weight loss. I gave several friends wrapping
paper and some money of varying amounts so I would have
purchase the (non-food) gifts and rewarded myself by opening
a gift for two weeks, four weeks, eight weeks and then 13 weeks
of regularly scheduled workouts, drinking my water quota,
following my healthy meal plan, and tracking my food intake. My
hope was that after the three months these behaviours would
have become new habits. Having the wrapped pressies on display
in the house helped me stick to my healthy actions. It’s fun!

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Debbish December 2, 2012 at 8:16 pm

What a great idea. As I was reading your comment I thought it’d be interesting to develop a budget, decide on the rewards and then shuffle them. As you read each milestone you wouldn’t know what you might be rewarded with that day/week/month. It would be a surprise!

Fabulous suggestion! (A different way of looking at rewards!)

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Debbish December 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm

PS. Rae, I copies your comment onto my Diet Schmiet Facebook page – sharing the idea. I hope that’s okay!

Deb

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Satu December 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm

This is a great idea, Deb! I started thinking about a similar thing but geared to my weight loss efforts. I could have a gift bag for every 2 or 3 kilos lost, the only problem would be what to put into the bags. Obviously not food items! :-)

You’re not the only one having problems with follow-through. *grin*

Last year I bought several pieces of pink fabric for making barbie doll clothes for my little nieces. They are still waiting for me to begin.. :-) I also have a huge stash of fabrics waiting for the time when I’m ready to start sewing clothes for myself again….

I don’t usually do much Christmas decorating myself because I go spend my Christmas with my parents and other relatives.

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Debbish December 3, 2012 at 11:46 am

Satu, after reading Rae’s comment I thought more about it and rewards (a massage, facial, new book, magazine etc). I liked the idea of shuffling them and not knowing what I’d open for each goal – so that they weren’t ‘weighted’ towards BIG goals.

Like, just having a certain amount of water each week could earn you your massage, whereas losing a certain amount of weight could result in the magazine for eg.

LOVE the idea of making your nieces Barbie doll clothes. My mother used to make all of mine when I was little. Sometimes she made matching outfits for them and me!!!

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