It’s the time of year when everything speeds up just as you wish it would slow down. As mothers we start every day with the best of intentions. Today, we will play in the snow. Today, we will make my grandma’s cookies, just the way I made them with her every Christmas. Today, I will take the time to show my kids what a day during the most magical time of the year can hold. But then today is full of the ordinary and the forgotten and before you know it, it is tomorrow.
Caravan’s “Not a Creature Was Stirring” Advent Calendar is a flight of festive fancy designed to help you remember today. Each mouse in Mike and Alma Loveland’s holiday creation is double-sided. On one side the mice are wide eyed and bushy tailed and the other side all snuggled up and asleep for the night with a toy or treasure. Write a holiday activity on each mouse – a few grand adventures and dozens of little oh-my-wasn’t-that-nice activities just fit for the holiday season. Each day a new little mouse introduces the new activity to your children and each night they get to flip the mouse and slip him into bed. When all the mice are asleep and “not a creature is stirring” Christmas has arrived!
This season is not about the shopping and the hurry and the big gestures. It is about creating tiny moments worth remembering and scooping up as you go along. Here’s to 24 days worth remembering.
How do you make this piece of holiday cheer? Directions below!
This is a piece you will want to use every holiday season, so make sure to use quality tools! Precise cutting is key, (those mice want to keep their ears!) so use a good quality pair of scissors. Also needed? An Xacto blade. Double-sided tape. A frame with the glass removed. The frame will need to be 8×10 or 11×14 (depending on which size you purchase) or a frame that is matted to 8×10 or 11×14. The background may be printed on heavy card stock, but the mice should be printed on a light weight card stock. Want to do new activities every year? Print out more mice as needed!
Cut each page of mice in half along the black line. (8 x 10 version only; 11 x 14 is already separated.)
Fold each of the four sets of mice very carefully along the red dotted line. Precision here is a must! Line up the vertical sides of your page to help you fold this precisely. (NOTE: If you hurry through this step, the two sides of your mice will not line up.) (NOTE, NOTE: Don’t worry! You can do this!)
Cut each mouse roughly so that each mouse is on its own separate piece of paper. Use a piece of double-sided tape (or glue) to adhere the folded pieces of paper shut.
Cut very carefully along the dotted lines and around each mouse. Pay attention to detail. This is the perfect thing to do after the kiddies go to bed. If you have folded and secured the paper correctly, then the sides of the mice should line up perfectly. Then, where the white strip meets the mouse artwork, cut very small slits up into the artwork a little bit. This will help the mice fit snugly into their beds!
You will have 24 unique, double-sided mice! Write a family activity on each mouse.
On the background, with an xacto blade, cut along the top of each red string. You don’t need to go end-to-end, but just make sure that they are wide enough to accommodate the mice strips. Remove the glass from an 8×10 frame or an 11×14 frame, depending on the size you have ordered. (This also looks nice in a frame that is matted to 8×10 or 11×14). Cut the sides of your background as necessary to fit into your frame (if using a matted frame, no cutting will be necessary). Fit your background into your frame. Insert each mouse (awake side!) into the 24 slits. Scatter your activities about, have fun!
Each day in December leading up to Christmas, enjoy your family activity, and then flip the mouse to help it go to sleep! When all the mice are asleep and “not a creature is stirring,” it’s time for Christmas!
Designed by Mike + Alma Loveland