Well, hey there.

I’m Kelsey DeLange: wife, mother, encourager, and the artist behind Honey and the Hive. Welcome to By Honey and the Hive, a lifestyle journal dedicated to living intentionally, crafting a beautiful life, and seeking magic in the every day.

Kelsey DeLange

Our DIY Advent Calendar

The holiday season is in full-swing!  I love this time of year - the twinkling lights, freshly fallen snow, and hot cocoa is basically it's own food group - what more could you ask for?  Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I've only grown to love it more since becoming a mom.  There's something so special about getting to orchestrate the magic for your own kiddos.  

This year is going to be the most magical yet for our little family (let's just say that mom and dad have a pretty incredible surprise up our sleeves)  so I've been anxiously awaiting the holiday season even more so than I normally do this year. I'm already a very festive person, but this year I just wanted to soak up even more of the spirit of the holidays, and make it a season that we never ever forget.

A few weeks ago Dallas and I worked together to create a DIY Advent Calendar to help us count down the days to Christmas in a fun and intentional way.  I wanted this new tradition to be less about things, and more about mindfully taking time each day to do something festive and make memories together.  Inside each envelope on the calendar is a special holiday-themed activity that we can do together.  While Dallas doesn't know the surprises each day, he did help me to craft this calendar which was so special, and had him even more excited when December 1st rolled around and we finally got to open up our first envelope!

We made our calendar almost completely out of items that we had on hand, but even if you don't have a craft supply stash that you're embarrassed to show your husband, you can get everything you need pretty in-expensively from any local craft store.  

A branch (you don't need anything fancy, folks - we found one in our back yard)
Chunky Yarn
Faux Garland
Kraft Envelopes
Numbered Stickers
Gold Wreath Filling Pieces
Paddle Wire

We started by wrapping our branch in the faux garland, and adding in a few pieces of our gold wreath filling for a little sparkle - securing it all down with paddle wire.  Then we cut a large piece of twine and tied it to either end of the branch to hang the advent calendar from.  We tied 9 long pieces of yarn to the covered branch to hang our daily envelopes from using clothes pins.  Then we tied ornaments to a few of the pieces of yarn to give it a fun and festive look and attached number stickers to each envelope.  The entire project took us maybe 20 minutes (perfect to do with busy kiddos!) and I really love how it turned out.

Inside each of the envelopes is an intentional activity that we can do together each day.  A few of these activities to have small gifts that go along with them (a new holiday book, festive pj's, bathbombs, ornaments and nutcrackers to paint) but they are all focused on making memories.  Here's what we've done for each day:

December 1: Decorate the house for Christmas
December 2: Build a gingerbread house
December 3: Read a Christmas book
December 4: Christmas pj party
December 5: Write a letter to Santa
December 6: Mail Christmas Cards to loved ones
December 7: Watch a Christmas movie
December 8: Make a wreath
December 9: Paint a nutcracker
December 10: Make hot cocoa
December 11: Christmas bath bomb
December 12: Hang a new ornament on the tree
December 13: Go look at Christmas lights
December 14: Make paper snowflakes
December 15: Go iceskating
December 16: Go Christmas shopping for the dogs 
(Dallas loves to pick out the treats + toys for their stockings)
December 17: Build a snowman
December 18: Paint an ornament
December 19: Get Christmas treats at Rise
December 20: Wrap Christmas presents
December 21: Visit the Holiday gardens
December 22: Go sledding
December 23: Take a hike
December 24: Make Christmas cookies

Dallas has absolutely loved it so far, and it's given us even more opportunities to sit down and savor the spirit of the holidays together.  Do you and your family do an advent calendar?  I'd love to hear all about it!


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