Chocolate Coins and an Advent Calendar

I have said it before, if you want to make the holidays special then you have to make them special. This Halloween I did not make things very special. No one really complained, but I felt it. I’ve decided not to let that happen again. So I’m throwing myself into holiday preparations for November and December.

The first shopping trip of November I purchased a huge canister of chocolate coins from Costco because?of the many uses they have in my home:

  1. Personal rewards for every 1000 words written for NaNoWriMo
  2. Payment to kids for small chores
  3. Leprechaun gold for St. Patrick’s Day
  4. Stocking stuffers
  5. Ladies’ Poker Night chips
  6. Easter egg stuffers
  7. Party favors
  8. Advent calender filler

It was thinking about number eight that got us into the spirit of our first major holiday decorating project, making our own Advent calendar. We dug through my horde of crafting supplies, which I amass through after-holiday sales, re-purposing, and miscellaneous care packages from my mom.

Here’s what we found to use:

  • 10 sheets of 12×12 scrapbooking paper
  • 2 Sharpies (2 red & 1 green)
  • Brown packing paper
  • Christmas stickers
  • 48 chocolate coins
  • Clear packing tape
  • Scissors

big-little1. First take the 10 sheets of 12×12 scrapbooking paper and fold them into quarters so that you can cut each large sheet into 4 equally sized smaller squares. This will give you 40 smaller squares of which you will only need 24. This will leave you with 16 extra squares for mess-ups, a head start on the project for next year, or another project that may occur to you later. Trust me, you should save the unused scraps.

2. Take one of your newly made smaller squares and fold in the corners towards the center. Basically you are making envelopes.

numbering3. Using the Sharpies alternate colors to number the envelopes 1 through 24. Remember, an Advent calendar is a count down to the day so there won’t be a 25.

4. Place 2 chocolate coins in each envelope. You can choose to put in 1 to 4 coins and this will still work fine. I put in 2 so each of my kids can have a coin each day because frankly I want to make this a fun experience and not court a future argument about whose turn it is to get the chocolate.

stuffing-sealing5. Seal up each chocolate filled envelope using a Christmas sticker.

6. Measure out enough brown packing paper to use as a background to afix the chocolate filled envelopes to with the clear packing tape. We arranged ours with number 1 at the bottom and zig-zagged them to the top. The space left vacant where a 25 might be we drew in a tree and used more Christmas stickers to decorate it.

better-finish7. Your Advent calendar is now ready to be hung on the wall of your choice. I’d advise using the clear packing tape to hold it on the wall as the chocolate makes it too heavy for other cellophane tape, just be careful when you finally remove it not to pull off chunks of paint.

What other uses can you think of for chocolate coins? I’m always looking for ways to stretch my resources and creativity.


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