Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Christmas Countdown Calendar

(MS) - The excitement of the holiday season begins the moment the Thanksgiving parade sails on by. With the appearance of old Saint Nick on the tail end of that caravan, kids and adults alike start preparing for the arrival of Christmas.

To help mark the days and commence the countdown, Christmas calendars are popular this time of year. Here's how you can put your own creative spin on the concept, plus incorporate the idea of hanging stockings into the design.

This fun craft is based on an idea presented by Family Fun magazine and utilizes stray socks, mittens or pieces of scrap holiday fabric you may have on hand.

Christmas Countdown Calendar

What You'll Need

· 25 brightly colored socks, mittens or pockets sewn from fabric (or a mix of all three)

· 25 wooden clothespins

· 6-foot length of string, yarn or garland

· Small trinkets to put inside socks or creative message cards (ideas below)

· Push pins, tape or small photograph nails to hold the calendar in place

· Marker

1. Using the marker, number each clothespin from 1 to 25.

2. String the 6-foot cord through the rings of the clothespins in numerical order.

3. Fill the socks/mittens/pockets with your treats.

4. Clip one item to each clothes pin.

5. Hang the "calendar" to a mantel, wall or within reach of kids eager to discover the treats inside.

Ideas for treats:

· small candy canes or candy bars

· coupons to get out of chores

· voucher for a car trip to see Christmas lights

· voucher for a Christmas movie night

· retail store gift cards

· a joke or puzzle per day

· gingerbread cookies

· an ornament to add to the tree

· voucher for making a donation to a charity

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