I posted a photo of my husband Oliver and our advent calendar on Facebook a while ago and have gotten so many compliments and inquiries on how we did it, so I thought I would share in detail. 

We have never done an advent calendar before and I was looking for a new tradition to start that would help us count down the days and make the whole month of December more special. Oliver switches to second shift and works longer hours and weekends during the holiday season, so we don't particularly enjoy the holidays at all. 

This advent calendar idea worked out perfectly and honestly gave us something special to look forward to every day! We'll be doing it every year now. At least some version of it. 

With some inspiration from Pinterest, I planned to hang paper lunch bags from the ceiling in a grid pattern and paint the numbers on using stencils. Oliver took the even numbers and planned out gift ideas for my bags and I took the odd numbers and filled those with gifts for him. 

We aimed to buy meaningful and useful items for each other, which ended being more of a challenge than past years of traditional gift-giving since we had to think of 12 gifts each! We decided to buy each other a joint gift for the 25th so we could both open something on Christmas Day. 

- a branch
- lunch bags (we chose red instead of the usual brown color)
- twine
- fishing line (if you want the branch to look like it's floating; we couldn't find ours)
- paper clips
- number stencils (make sure the size isn't too large for the bags)
- paint
- goodies!

- number the bags
- lay out your grid pattern on the floor 
- cut your twine strings
- measure the placement between each bag
poke that sucker right through the twine - depending on how heavy the items in your bags will be, you may need more reinforcement by actually taping the paper clip to the twine
- tie those strings on & hang the bags on the paper clips! again, depending on the weight, you may need to hook the bags instead of just slide them in

*Side note:
-the bags will twist and not always hang straight which makes it very frustrating when trying to photograph them. just let it go. 

Hope you all have a merry Christmas! Anyone else do an advent calendar? 

xo, beth

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