I’ve never had an advent calendar before. Maybe, just maybe, one year I might have had one of those novelty chocolate calendars you buy at the supermarket, but advent calendars just weren’t a part of our Christmas tradition growing up. Now that I have my own kids and we’re asked a dozen times a week ‘how many sleeps until Santa arrives?’ I thought it might be nice to introduce an advent calendar to the boys.
I wanted something little (we’re in a little house after all) and decided to use large matchboxes to build an advent pyramid. I used the 50mm long Redhead matchboxes (90 per pack) and they are the perfect size to hold a treat for each of the boys – 2 chocolate coins, 2 Freddo frogs, 2 mini Mentos rolls etc.
Each row and matchbox front has been covered in colourful Christmas paper and I really like the homemade, patchwork look. I even found a little miniature Christmas tree at the $2 shop to decorate the top.
I considered having numbers on the front of each matchbox like traditional advent calendars do, but in the end decided that the boys could take turns picking a random box each day and the empty box would be spun around to leave a white square on the pyramid.
I’d eventually like to add a large image to the white side (like a Christmas tree or Rudolph?) but I couldn’t decide what to do and will think it over for next year.
It might look fiddly and time consuming but it was reasonably quick to put together and I’ve included instructions below. This would have taken a lot longer, but the wrapping paper I used was from Costco and had a grid pattern printed on the underside. Would you believe that 4 squares on the grid was the perfect width for the matchbox front, so I didn’t have to worry about measuring, ruling lines and cutting. I just had to cut and it really did save an enormous amount of time.
I would have loved to post these instructions and pics before the 1st of December so you had time to put together your own advent pyramid, but unfortunately time got away from me and I was putting the final touches together the night before the calendar began. Hopefully I’ve provided you with some inspiration for next year though! Or perhaps you could build half the pyramid and start from there?