Saturday, December 1, 2012

Felt Nativity Advent Calendar

Around this time of year, I am always concerned that my kids are counting down to a day when they get presents,  and not counting down to a big birthday celebration for Jesus. With all of the commercialized aspects of the holiday season, it takes a lot of effort to bring the focus back to the true reason for this wonderful holiday.
For several years, I searched for an advent calendar that depicted a nativity, to no avail. So last year, I decided to make my own. This is an awesome craft for older kids, but if your kids are little like mine, you can do the "making" yourself and allow them to participate in the daily countdown.
You will need:
-Felt advent calendar base (I found mine at Hobby Lobby)
-Black, white, yellow and tan felt
Your first step will be to do a Google Images search for "Nativity Silhouette" and decide which one you want to use. I chose a very simple one. Print out the image of your choice, and cut it out. Now, trace your image onto your black felt. Pencil shows up fairly well. Glue your silhouette onto your calendar.
Now use your remaining felt to create your baby Jesus. I pretty much free handed mine, but if you are looking for a template or ideas, use that Google Search again. Make sure that your Jesus is sized appropriately to fit into the pockets of your calendar. 
The one main difference between this calendar and the others you have probably seen is that instead of counting up from 1 to 24, you will count down from 24 to 1. This allows the Christ child to "travel" towards the manger scene. 
Because felt sticks to felt, on Christmas morning you can place baby Jesus directly in the manger.
This is one of many things that we do around our house in an effort to put the focus on Him. What traditions does your family have that celebrate the true reason for Christmas?

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