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    Deal GURU rtebalt's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    outside Philadelphia, PA
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    Default Stockings on the Mantel - An Advent Calendar

    Give the traditional Advent calendar a creative kick, turning it into a festive garland that reuses your kids' colorful socks. Tucked inside are notes, games, and goodies for kids to receive -- one sock for each day leading up to the Jolly Old Elf's visit.

    25 socks
    25 mini clothespins (available at craft supply stores)
    Stocking hangers, painter's tape, or pushpins
    6-foot length of cord, string, or ribbon
    "Get Out of Chores Free" or "Pick a Movie Rental" cards -- each good for one use!
    A puzzle distributed in pieces among the socks; kids can put it together over the course of the month
    Trading or sports cards
    Special coins such as foreign currency or a silver dollar -- chocolate coins are always a hit too!
    Music or other gift cards
    Jokes or riddles (stick the punch line in the next day's sock; see for ideas)
    A game (a Mad Libs or Sudoku a day)
    Art supplies, such as a mini paint kit and pad
    A special ornament to add to the tree
    A new pair of socks!

    Time needed: About 2 to 3 Hours

    1. To make your "calendar," fill the 25 socks with small treats, using the list of suggestions or your own ideas.

    2. Use a marker to number the mini clothespins with 1 through 25.

    3. To assemble the calendar, use stocking hangers, painter's tape, or pushpins to temporarily hang a 6-foot length of cord, string, or ribbon within easy reach of a child. Clip the treat-filled socks to the cord in numerical order, then each day have kids remove one to discover their surprises

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