My daughter, Ashley, is my parents' youngest grandchild. She is seventeen years younger than the oldest grandchild. Around each grandchild's third Christmas, my mom made them an advent calendar.
Mom lovingly sewed each calendar using the same pattern, yet made each one unique. Some of the pockets have numbers on them and some have bows. The Christmas trees on some have trunks and others do not. Some have cloth borders and some are entirely felt. Finally, Mom added a hand-written label on the back of each one that had a special message of love to that child.
Once the calendar was sewn, Mom went to the store and found little Christmas do-dads that would fit inside the tiny pockets. She stuck a strip of Velcro on the back of each item so it could stick to the felt Christmas tree.
On December 1, the child takes the ornament from the first pocket and sticks it on the tree. The last ornament to be pulled from the last pocket is the one that goes on top of the tree. For some it's a star, for others it's an angel.
All three of my children and all their cousins have enjoyed their advent calendars through the years. As they've grown up and moved away, their calendars have gone with them. Some share them with their spouses and their own children now. It's a reminder of home, family, and a grandma who loves them.
Does your family have an advent calendar? Share a picture of if in the comments.