For the past six years, I’ve had the pleasure of freelancing regularly for both HGTV and DIY Network, creating crafts, sharing chicken and bee wisdom and gardening galore. This week, my daughter and I were given the task of putting a new twist on the traditional advent calendar. I had considered creating a new calendar. It dawned on me that it would be fun to create a Christmas paper village advent calendar. It could light up as each new evening arrived. As a little girl, some of my fondest memories were of my Mother’s Christmas village.
When we were little, my sisters and I always could not wait to set up the Department 56 Christmas village. My Mom took great joy in adding to the Charles Dickens inspired village and from 1980s-90s we watched it grow. As a result, soon enough it did not just take up a table top. With each year, its sprawl grew. As we spread out the snow, added lights to the houses and created the village square complete with snow filled trees, carolers and ice skaters my heart swelled with joy. I swear we would sit and stare at that tiny little village each night. Sipping on cocoa, we would wait to call Santa Claus until Dad got home from work. Since then, those are some of my fondest Christmas memories. Most of all, I wanted that village to come to life.
I suppose that was the inspiration for this village, replacing candy with lights and allowing my kids to have a new twist on my memory. This village came together with scrapbooking paper. It was inexpensive and fun. We assembled tiny paper houses and trees to make a village that would could be lit each evening.
I used a large round cake pan for the village and embellished it with a delightful red plaid ribbon.
We randomly numbered the trees and houses. Each night we add a new little part of the village into the cake pan and wait for evening.
In addition, the village comes to life when we turn on the battery powered tea lights. I like to imagine this as a tiny little Scandinavian village. It’s tucked away into the thick woodlands. Freshly fallen snow glistens on the rooftops lit by the light of a full winter moon.
Even the trees come to life as light dances behind the tiny snowflake cut outs.
For those of you wondering, yes, my Mom still does the village and sets it up each and every year, now with my children. It’s true that the magic of Christmas in that village is still there and I see it now in the kids eyes. I can’t wait to make this new paper village advent calendar a new tradition this year, starting on December 1st.
For the full tutorial of my Paper Village Advent Calendar, please visit my post on DIY Network
In addition, for more of my crafts from over the years, start under the Craft Tab above and the pull down menu. I hope to inspire you!