My husband grew up with an Advent Calendar. Every day his mother would dole out butterscotch candies that were pinned to it. A few years ago, he mentioned it to me, saying that it was a tradition he enjoyed and missed. We don’t celebrate Christmas, so we needed to come up with something that would work with our beliefs and holidays.
We ended up with a Solstice calendar. I’m not certain why I felt it necessary to hand stitch all of the tiny pieces of felt on, but it does look nice. The same ribbons that we use to hang it tie the calendar when it is rolled up. It’s also quilted, so it’s rather sturdy.
It happens that the Winter Solstice is not always on the same calendar day, so the last row of pockets has snaps so that we can change numbers or pictures. Rather than have the calendar be about receiving a treat, we made it about the gift of giving, with the idea that after receiving something nice yourself, you would pass it on by doing a kindness for someone else. The little face showing in the first pocket is a simple shape gnome. I realized after I finished the calendar that we needed a visual representation to move each day, so I grabbed one of our handmade toys. The little gnome has lived in the calendar ever since.
This year, we have added a small piece of paper to each pocket with a special thing to do. Some of the items are fun things and some are of a more giving nature.
- Put together Holiday Helper gift
- Make wreath for front door
- Ornament Swap
- Buy 2010 Solstice Ornaments
- Hang outside lights
- Paper snowflakes
- Mail holiday cards
- Make gingerbread house
- Make fudge
- Surprise Daddy’s coworkers with fudge and food
- Make cut out cookies
- Buy a holiday treat
- Drop off food at fire station
- Torch lit hike
- Leave cookies for mailman
- Surprise someone with baked goods
- Deliver Goodies to Neighbors
- Hot chocolate and games
- Drive around to look at holiday lights
- Celebrate the Solstice Party
- Make Yule log
- Open Gifts