Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Present Plate

The present plate is my first attempt at an Advent Calendar. I had planned on calling it "The Countdown to Christmas" but my five year-old immediately decided "The Present Plate" was a more accurate description and it just stuck. All it is, is my largest serving platter, covered in white and gold snowflake fabric and loaded up with small bags and jewelry boxes (spray painted gold); each containing a small goody or two or an event / experience. For example, some of the things included are:
  • glow in the dark bracelets
  • two chocolate coins
  • two stickers
  • new pens and a note that says "write your name"
  • a note saying "go to Turtle Park"
  • bath confetti with a note saying "tonight is bath night!"
  • two Beanie Babies with a note saying "snuggle with your new friend and watch a show"
  • two small stuffed animals
  • a note saying "play a game after dinner"
  • new colored pencils
  • two pair of snowman socks and a note saying "go jump on the bed!"
  • a note saying "make a special project with Mama"
  • two new cups with snowmen on them
  • two little McDonald's stuffed puppies
Most of the things are items I picked up on clearance throughout the year, at the after Christmas sales last December, or found while thrifting. I bought the bag and plate-covering fabric when it went on sale last year and then saved jewelry boxes all year long. I came up a bit short with the boxes, but a nice sales woman at Kohl's took pity on me and gave me six of them the day after Thanksgiving. In all, I probably have $25.00 invested in it - including the fabric and paint.

I've had so much fun this December watching them take turns opening a present each night after dinner and then eagerly handing the note to their father or me to read. The Present Plate has been good for S and K; it has helped reinforce the lost art of taking turns, the importance of being happy for another's good fortune, remembering to say "thank you" (even when the gift isn't your favorite,) and of course - keeping track of how many days remain until Christmas (since they know we'll open the last one on Christmas Morning.)

I think this is going to become one of our family traditions...


Ellen said...

OH! I like that idea! I think I like it better than the stocking calendar I did this year. I'm going to have to find a kind salesperson, though, it would take me a really long time to get enough jewelry boxes.

(and because I'm too lazy to comment below, thank you for the snowflake tutorial!)

antique quilter said...

this is such a cute idea ,yes I think it should be a tradition.
I really have enjoyed the posts about holidays events on the Island...
thanks for all the pictures too
someplace I have always wanted to visit in the summer but now would rather come in the winter!

Marcia said...

Enjoy those little ones and these days, they go by so quickly. Merry Christmas!

Maggie said...

What a neat idea, especially the combination of gifts and experiences!

Loralynn said...

What a wonderful idea! I agree with your 5yr old, I love the "present plate" title! Hope you are staying warm up there, down here, this morning 9 degrees! Brrr...

kate said...

Aw, that is a wonderful advent tradition. I"m so glad they are enjoying it.

Indy Mom said...

I like this idea!

Brigide said...

Very nice! I like this idea. I had an advent calendar on my sewing list this year but it fell by the way-side. Guess it will get done about next June.

Manoute said...

What a great idea!

susan said...

this is really a neat idea! i wish i read this last year when tori was here. althou i did make a cloth one, had little goodies in it. but the present plate sounds great. will have to plan on one next year, one for tori and one for max. can box up and send to whereever they are. wonder if tori will be back with her daddy next year. its only been less than three months and brookly is complaining about her duties as a mom. so sad. tori is such a beautiful loving wonderful child and brooklyn hasnt a clue. she belongs in hawaii with her daddy but she is attending a wonderful school..........choices parents have to make for the best for their kids. i know it kills mikko not to have tori with him. hopefully things work out so she can go home for the summer. anyways, have a very happy christmas! xo susan