Kids get so excited waiting for Santa to come on Christmas eve. It doesn’t help that tv, magazines and other media sources promote Christmas way back in October! Take the edge off of the anticipation by making your child an advent calendar. Well, not a calendar, exactly! Use match boxes to make a collection of drawers that work as a calendar. The little drawers are filled with tiny candies and other small surprises and your child can have one every night until Christmas!
A young child will work hard to prepare for bed when he or she knows that, upon finished getting ready, a surprise is waiting in one of the drawers. Or, let the child open a drawer each morning after getting ready for the day. The advent calendar is a breeze to make when you start with a collection of match boxes.
The type of match boxes you need are ones that are all the same size. They should be the type that have a small drawer that slides in and out of a cardboard sleeve. These are perfect for creating the advent calendar drawers. You’ll need 24 match boxes to make the set.
Remove the boxes from the sleeves and paint one – or both – short ends of the boxes. Allow to dry. Glue a bead onto one end of the match box – one of the painted ends. Wrap a piece of decorative paper or really thin cloth around each of the sleeves. Cut the material to be the exact width of the sleeve. Wrap the cloth around it and glue the ends together. Glue them so that they do not overlap each other. Stack the boxes so that you have three rows of eight, four rows of six, or another combination. Glue the boxes together.
On one side of the bead use a sticker to give that particular drawer a number. Or, just write a number on each box with a marker. Place a small gift inside each drawer. On the first day of December the child can open the first drawer and receive the token gift. Do the same on each day of the month up until Christmas eve. On Christmas day, of course, the child will forget all about the advent calendar.
Some prizes you can put in the small drawers include individually wrapped candy, stickers, tatoos, play jewelry, a fancy pencil eraser or topper, mini dollhouse accessories, tiny army men and similar things. The advent calendar can be used each and every year to countdown the days until Christmas!