I was determined to start an advent calendar tradition with the boys this year and thought how fun it would be to make one. Typically, my determination stopped short of planning ahead for this and come Nov. 30th, I was scrambling to gather materials. After a failed trip to Michael’s (is it just me or does Michael’s carry less and less actual craft supplies and more supplied crafts?) I decided to make do with I what I had around. I loved this advent chain From Martha Stewart. Despite not having collected small gifts all month, as suggested, and not having amazing Japanese paper from New York in my possession, I thought I could do something similar. I had some patterned origami paper I’d been hanging on to for years and some colored tissue. I didn’t have small boxes and there was no way I was buying 24 gifts (actually, 48, since I’d need one for each boy). So, I bought a box of ginger snaps, some chocolate bells, fruit snacks, and a Barrel of Monkeys to divide up. I used wax paper to wrap the loose food items and wrapped them with tissue or boxes I made from the origami paper. It may not have been quite as elegant as Martha’s but came out very festive and the boys love it. It’s been the first thing they ask about when they wake up. Mission New Tradition accomplished!