Countdown to Christmas! DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

“Haul out the holly; Put up the tree … Fill up the stocking.  I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.  Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry.”  I am in a hurry!  I planned on showing you how to make this charming and nostalgic Advent Calendar on the first day of December!  However, the countdown to Christmas continues and this Calendar is so easy and fun to make, you’ll be able to enjoy it for the rest of the season and psssst! …. your “kids” of all ages “from 1 to 92” will love playing catch-up when you finish making it and opening several envelopes at once! (;

Santa envelopes

Click on the following link Ella Claire Free Printable Vintage Christmas Advent Calendar for complete instructions and a free printable for making the envelopes and cards.  I love these miniature envelopes and the little pine cone sprig on the card insert.  I’m already planning other “fun” ways to use them!  The printable is free and I chose a creamy 8 1/2″ x 11″ card stock paper from Michael’s to print my envelopes and cards on.

supplies.png

 This is a sample of what the envelope looks like after I cut out the pattern.  I’ve penciled in dashed lines to show you where to fold your envelopes.  Note: The vertical fold-line on both sides is where the rounded slope of the paper meets the straight cut!  The card stock paper I used was thick and I used the plastic grip of my scissors to firmly crease each fold. (Hey, I just thought of a stocking stuffer I need … a bone folder! (: ) I didn’t want to wait for my envelopes to dry so instead of using glue, I taped my envelopes together with clear Scotch tape.

envelope folds.jpg

After you finish making all your envelopes, write different Christmas activities you would enjoy doing on each of the 25 cards and slip the card into a corresponding envelope. e.g. pop some popcorn and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie … make hot chocolate, top with Cool Whip, decorate with lots of sprinkles and sip with a peppermint straw! … put the kids in their pajamas and go for a drive to look at Christmas lights!   I wrote my activity on the card that wasn’t dated, so it will be easy to use the same calendar next year and I can easily re-arrange my activities. cards and envelopes snowman.png

 I also tucked a little “trinket” in each envelope. Little gifts of candy, Christmas cookie cutters and tiny ornaments for a special tiny Christmas tree for little folks!

Miss Mouse

I nailed my ribbons (needed for hanging the envelopes) to the frame of my “4 the seasons” chalkboard I love this rustic chalkboard with it’s natural cedar frame that a dear friend made for me.  I added some “chalk art” before nailing in my ribbon … with the heading “Countdown to Christmas” and a border of holly leaves.  Ella draped her calendar over a vintage ladder; you can hang your advent calendar across a mirror, on a bulletin board, or on a door in your family room.

chalkboard art

And … all the envelopes “were hung by the ‘chalkboard’ with care.” (;

filled chalkboard.png

I set up our Advent Calendar on a little table in our screened porch where Richard and I sit and have our morning coffee.  Our Texas winter’s are so delightful, we enjoy sitting out here every season, especially since we have an electric reproduction stove with “pretend” flames for the coldest days! (;

front advent.png

A little “Holly Jolly” cuteness to start the day!

screen porch.png

 Daisy, our little grand dog … waiting for Santa!

Daisy.png

You know one of my favorite decorating “tricks” is using every day objects in unusual ways.  I filled this wrought iron planter with Christmas books and a basket of poinsettias … handy, and “at the ready” beside our chairs for reading!  I think it’s a perfect book cache for our outdoor room!

poinsettias and books.png

“Have a holly, jolly Christmas; It’s the best time of the year …” 

poinsettia and holly jolly pillow.png

“I don’t know if there’ll be snow but have a cup of cheer …”

lake door again.png

Sweet little envelopes all pinned up on a ribbon clothesline … Countdown to Christmas!

pinecone.png

Get your paper and printer ready, make yourself a large “cup of cheer,” put your feet up and have fun making this Advent Calendar … 

“For we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute,

Candles in the window,

Carols at the spinet.

Yes, we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute.

It hasn’t snowed a single flurry,

But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry;

So climb down the chimney;

Put up the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen.

Slice up the fruitcake;

It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough …”

Santa.jpg

As this Christmas season of busy-ness begins, my desire is to have my heart “tuned” to focus on Jesus, the reason for the season!  These words from our Choir Christmas Cantata written by Sue Smith haunt me.  “There was no room in the inn.  No room for Heaven’s amazing gift of love.  No room for the long-awaited Messiah.  No room for our only hope of salvation.  No room.  Time and again these two simple words stir our hearts, and we vow to make sure it never happens with us.” 

These words are a solemn reminder; my prayer this Christmas is … Lord, whatever I do or don’t get done during this Christmas season, let my focus be on YOU!  I want Him to know … I have a room reserved just for Him; there IS room in the Inn! ❤

“O come let us adore Him … Christ the Lord!

O Come Let Us Adore Him.png

“Come, let us bow down in worship. let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker …”  Psalm 95:6

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda 

Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

FOLLOW ME on Pinterest!  Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com

cropped-cropped-img_0452-e1510254818805.png

 

 

From My Cottage to Your’s …

A little about my life and loves on Cedar Creek Lake …

 My husband and I live in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas on the banks of Cedar Creek Lake.  We love watching and being a part of all the seasons and changes that happen on the lake.

We moved here 23 years ago … and began the mammoth task of renovating our “tired” and “brown everything” (except for the harvest gold counter tops!) lake house that was originally built during the early 70’s.

Slowly, with each wall we knocked down, each remnant of shag carpet we removed and the many gallons of white paint that we applied … our brown house began to disappear and the “Cottage Green” we had envisioned began to emerge.

It still seems like we are always working on our “nest” but we love seeing every result and improvement we make.

My love of decorating and crafts … 
When our kids were younger, I worked evenings for an Interior Design Company accessorizing and decorating people’s homes.  I also worked for a major hobby/craft store and gave classes on how to make wreaths, flower arrangements, seasonal door decorations, gift wrapping bows, and girl’s hair bows.

Through the years I’ve continued decorating, but mostly  for our own home or for custom orders.I was blessed with a full music scholarship to college and pursued a double major of both music and education before I left my Junior year to marry my sweetheart … or as Anne of Green Gables would say … “my kindred spirit and dearest of dear husbands.”  His name is Richard.

We have been married for 39 years and he still makes my heart skip a beat whenever I catch his eye across a crowded room.

We have been blessed with 2 children, a son and a daughter and we now have 2 dear grandchildren who are running in the same footprints our children did … and we’re still making memories at our cottage on the lake.

I hope to charm and delight you as you read and look at the pictures of Cottage Green on the Lake.  I hope each recipe, tablescape, decoration, arrangement, landscaping idea, and unexpected way I use the items I love in my home will be an inspiration for you, as you make your own little haven and nest … 4 the seasons!

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda