I loosely followed this tutorial at The Purl Bee.
The tutorial called for the entire calendar to be made of felt... but since I was so last minute and was out of all my fun felt colors I decided to use mostly fleece. Had tons of that.
Would've been easier with felt, I think. The fleece kept slipping while I sewed it. Still turned out cute and functional! Don't look too closely at my attempts at embroidery. I think I need one of those markers that writes on fabric so I wouldn't have to freehand my numbers. Would have been nice to have something to trace over with the embroidery thread.
I filled each pocket with a small treat, but also wanted this calendar to focus more on celebrating the season and Jesus' birth... so I used some ideas from this list, and added a few of our own. I made a simple tag for each day, with a Christmas-themed activity on it. Then added a smaller, decorative tag to hang outside each pocket. This way we can sort of see our progress through the month!
Here is the calendar stuffed with treats and the activity tags.
Today, before we pulled the goodies out...
And our first activity. We read 'Little Lamb's Christmas'.
Here is my list of activities, if you need some ideas.
Read a Christmas book
Paint a picture
Play a board game; read Luke 2:11
Visit Santa and mail letter to the North Pole
Go to Great Wolf Lodge (a very exciting surprise for Ty- we booked this months ago)
Pray for the needy; read John 15:17
Make a plan to help someone less fortunate (hoping to get Ty involved by asking for ideas)
Watch a Christmas movie
Make cocoa; read Luke 2:14
Make a birthday card for Jesus; read 1 John 4:11
Make a gingerbread house
Do a Christmas craft
Sing Christmas carols; read Matthew 1:21
Ty's Christmas program (at his preschool)
Ty's school Christmas party: read John 15:13
Go for a drive and look at Christmas lights
Open special gift from mom and dad (Christmas jammies for each boy)
Silly Christmas party (a tradition in my family)
Go to Zoolights; read Psalm 18:1
Make Christmas cookies; read Matthew 2:10
Make cake pops (Ty thought Santa might love some with his cookies :))
Bring gifts to the neighbors; read Psalm 96:1
Read the Christmas story
Take a Christmas bubble bath (this may be a sort of 'disco bath'); read John 3:16