Advent Calendar {Party}

2:00 AM Elephant & Chick 0 Comments

This is the second year I've hosted an Advent Calendar Making party, and I have to say it's become one of my favorite activities to kick off the holiday season!  I think it's officially a tradition I want to continue throughout the years.  (I've added an element to it this year though, so keep reading for that part!)

So far I've thrown two different types of parties:

1.  Party for Non-Crafty Friends  
A few key elements:
-  Guests had little or no crafting background or supplies of their own
-  I chose the advent calendar design
-  I provided all the materials, equipment, supplies, and even training on how to make the calendar
-  We all made the same calendar together as I taught and they followed

This party style was perfect for friends who do not usually craft on their own, but are interested in crafting for the sake of being social, or they like the outcome (calendar in this case).  

2.  Party for Crafty Friends
Elements of this party:
-  Guests often craft on their own and have a collection of their own supplies
-   Guests brought supplies to party to offer collaboration
-  I shared a general vision in advance of the party, as well as which supplies and equipment I had available for use, but encouraged guests to brainstorm their own ideas prior to the party
-  We all ended up having quite different visions, and although our calendars have similar elements, they all turned out very unique and personalized.

It's odd to write it all out like that, but I don't see how else to illustrate the differences.  Comparing my experiences this year and last really highlighted the importance of knowing the background and intentions of your guests.  A guest who comes with the intention of catching up with friends is going to have a very different expectation than a guest who comes with the intention of trying new crafting techniques, etc. 

This is one of the calendars a guest created at the party.  This friend is the definition of classy and her calendar does not disappoint!  It is completely classy-dazzled.  It never even crossed my mind to make all of my envelopes out of glitter paper, but why not?  Also, she only made 12 days worth of advent.  With no kids and just herself and her husband, she felt like 12 was a more fitting amount of count-down for them.  So personalized.  This is what I loved about this more free-form style party- I found myself being inspired!   I definitely have my eye on making an all-gold calendar one of these days.

Another calendar from the party, which I'm so sad I don't have pictures of, is Minecraft inspired!  Another child-less couple, these two love their games.  Again, it hadn't ever crossed my mind to make a themed calendar, let alone a game out of it!  I'm excited to hear how it goes for them.

This is the calendar I made, using Stampin' Up's Designer Series Christmas paper set.  I found it so liberating to have more than just red and green in my palette for a Christmas craft.  I chose to highlight a lot of the yellows and blues in my accents with silver tying it all together.  I love how it turned out!

Now, for the element I added this year: I'm going to give the calendar I made away!  My husband and I had so much fun filling the envelopes with Christmas activities specific to the family we've chosen to give it to.  We even included some days that involve us (like "Visit the Quinns for a Christmas treat tonight").  I'm excited to hear how it turns out for them.  I'd love to continue this part of the Advent Calendar tradition in to future years too!  (Below are pictures of candy wrapped up, specific to certain days.  Incidentally, the days that have candy involved are the days that are scripture reading, rather than an activity.  I thought those days needed a little extra something to spice them up.)

Happy Advent Calendar making!