My son is 3 and we decided to try a different type of Christmas countdown this year. Instead of a traditional Advent calendar, we’re going to use books to countdown to Christmas.
Like most young children, my son loves books and being read to. He also adores surprises and hiding things and he has a deep and abiding love for any kind of bag. Whenever we go somewhere, he asks me for a bag so he can carry his stuff. For Advent, we are marrying all these loves into one by hiding books in fabric bags under the tree.
I made fabric bags for the books but you could use the same idea with gift bags or by using wrapping paper. You can number the bags if you want, but I left ours plain so my son could choose the bag he wanted each night.
The fabric bags are easy to make. They are great project for a beginner and a really fast project for an experienced seamstress. I bought a 1/2 yard of a dozen different holiday patterns that I thought would coordinate well together, including some stripes and polka dots that weren’t Christmas patterns.
To start, I gathered up 24 holiday or winter themed books of various shapes and sizes. To make the bags, I folded the material in half, using the fold as the bottom of the bag (no need to sew the bottom). I decided which book to use and placed the book on top of the folded material. Using the book as a guide, I roughly measured and cut the material on either side of the book to make a roomy bag. I left a lot of room (about 10 inches) of material above the book for a gather.
To sew the bags, I used the fold as the bottom, then hemmed the top and stitched the sides together. To close the bags, I used ribbon. I got this idea on Pinterest (of course!) and I need to go look for the pin to link it here.
In the bags are a mix of secular and religious holiday or winter-themed books. Some of the books we included were:
The Polar Express
The Parable of the Pine Tree
The Snowy Day
Room for a Little One
Room for a Little One
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Crippled Lamb
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Biggest Snowman Ever
I also included a few non-Christmas books that are his favorites, such as Thomas the Train. I have a feeling the books are going to be a hit...