• I love advent calendars. The excitement of Christmas, a countdown, small toys or candy, all rolled into one! Each year I try to do something different. The one thing that I do the same is avoiding to buy the store bought ones. They are pricey, and the toys that come in them are often times lame. Except for the Lego men one. That’s pretty cool. I digress.

    This year for our advent calendar I got extra crafty. I am using an old muffin pan (or two), some sheets of magnet paper, and scrap booking paper.

    First I headed to the craft store to purchase the magnetic sheets. These came with a sticker back so you could stick them to all sorts of things. Handy stuff, really. Anyway, I then found scrapbooking paper that coordinated and made me happy.

    Once home I attached my paper to my magnetic sheets. Then I measured the opening of my muffin tins. I cut circles out of my magnet/cut paper that were about 1/4 inch larger than the opening of my muffin tins. This way when I put the magnet circles on my muffin tin they will stick to the pan and and not simply fall in.

    Using a sharpie I labeled each of my circles with a number, one through 24. Here is where I hear you thinking, “But a muffin tin only has 12 spots!” Correct you are! To do the entire 24 days you would need to use two muffin tins. This would take a lot of space to display so I opted for just one, then I will refill and recover when it is time. If you choose, you could use mini muffin pans, making the space they take up much smaller. I thought about this, but because I have three kids who will all be sharing this calendar I thought the bigger muffin cups would come in handy. Of course, I was right.

    Each spot gets something special inside for each of my kids. It’s usually something very small (obviously to fit inside of a muffin tin!). I bought a few small goodies at the party store in the favor aisle. Some days it is just a small piece of candy, a few m&ms or a Hershey’s kiss for each. On other days I slipped in a piece of paper with a note telling the kids what we will do that day. For example one said we were to make hot chocolate. Another said we were going to drive around looking at the Christmas lights. You could even get a few Lego men to stick in there. My husband even snuck in a little note for me, inviting me to a date-night to see a holiday musical. Now you know the real reason I love making these calendars!