How Advent Calendars became my new OBSESSION!

One of my most favorite things to do when I travel is to check out Independently owned Bookstores. Having been an owner of a few myself before retirement, I still get a thrill walking into them. I love the smell, the colors of the spines, the new titles displayed for all to see, and most of all revel in the creative and clever check out areas. Each store has it’s own unique style.

While traveling in Maine a few years ago, I stumbled upon this adorable little bookshop and couldn’t contain myself. I had a few spare minutes, so I wandered in. Along with an assortment of the newest latest and greatest books by famous authors, was a display of greeting cards and, yes you guessed it, Advent Calendars.

Ahhh… the memories. When I was young, my mom would pin an Advent Calendar to the living room lampshade on November 30th. My two brothers and I would take turns opening a window each day, revealing a surprise inside… then we’d rush out the door to catch the school bus. Oh the thrill, the excitement that little calendar gave us!

A light bulb moment popped in my head as I looked at these Calendars! “I should continue the tradition!”, I told myself. Why, yes! I’ll buy a calendar for each of my two brothers, and my three adult children who have flown the nest to begin their new families. Super idea!!

Personally I prefer the calendars with cute pictures behind each window, instead of a scripture reading, so I immediately disregarded any calendars with a Nativity scene. I also passed over any designs that were too, you know, ‘old school’. My eyes suddenly spotted the PERFECT calendar, with a whimsical snowman as the design. “Score!”. The bad news… there was only ONE. I needed FIVE. Crestfallen, I left the shop after the salesperson told me there was no way to order any more. “Sigh.”

I brainstormed the entire eight hour ride home. By the time I pulled into my driveway I just KNEW I could make my own Advent Calendars with the help of Google and Pinterest. Well… it didn’t turn out to be that easy. No where could I find directions or helpful hints on how to make an Advent Calendar like the one I wanted from years ago.

Oh yes, you could certainly find many directions for all different ways to make them… 25 tiny filled socks, paper bags, cloth drawstring bags, or (fill-in-the-blank). Someone wrapped 25 different Christmas Stories to be read each night, others made wallhangings out of felt with 25 pockets holding 25 tiny ornaments (or candy). None of those were what I was looking for.

I shut down my computer, grabbed my sketch pad and began drawing. The rest, as they say, is history. That year I hand cut each window with a sharp craft knife then using a bone folder I carefully creased each window so it would open effortlessly. Now I use a professional die cut machine. I’ve come a long way!


Gingerbread House Advent Calendar 2016

Gingerbread House    Advent Calendar           2016

Check out my Etsy Shop ( to see my designs.



2016 Advent Calendar Designs

We are so excited to announce our new calendar designs for 2016 are NOW available in our ETSY SHOP. Two new designs join our line up… A Whimsical Gingerbread House and a more serious one, ‘A Child is Born.’ Order one (or two) today and continue a family tradition that has been enjoyed for years!

Gingerbread House Advent Calendar Nativity Advent Countdown Calendar

Past year’s designs are also available… Nutcracker, and Ornaments

Nutcracker Advent Countdown Christmas CalendarChristmas Ornament Advent Countdown Calendar


Advent vs. Countdown vs. LIFE Calendars

Advent Calendars are so much fun!!! It’s exciting to wake up each morning and open a new window wondering what could possibly be behind the little door.

The meaning of Advent has changed over the years. Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany. Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration. Today however, Advent is celebrated as the 24 days before Christmas… The Birth of Baby Jesus.

The idea of a paper poster or card with 24 small doors to open began in Germany in the late 1800s… and soon spread throughout Europe and North America. Originally pictures were from the Hebrew Bible… or words of Scripture. Many calendars today have no religious content.

This year Unique and Novel is excited to offer 2 new designs in addition to last year’s Snowman, with the choice of three completely different inside surprises. Depending on the style… it could be a cute picture, a Random Act of Kindness, or a Riddle. A 25th door has been included as the ‘Ta-Dah’ moment.

Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars

A Countdown Calendar differs from an Advent Calendar in many ways. Most importantly the idea behind the Countdown Calendar is to create excitement for many of life’s upcoming celebrations. For example… a Wedding, Birthday, Retirement, Vacation, Return from Deployment, Graduation. These are only a small sampling of ideas on our design boards here at Unique and Novel.

In essence, the two calendars are designed the same. Both are essentially a picture with 25 windows and a surprise behind each one. The designs and purpose are what set them apart.

In addition to Advent and Countdown Calendars… Unique and Novel is in the process of developing LIFE Calendars… Daily suggestions and happy thoughts to help you achieve a better life. Want to lose a few pounds, or to live a calmer life? Want to giggle every morning for 25 days in a row? How about reading an Inspirational quote to start your day??? All of these and MORE are in the works.

Subscribe to this website to be the FIRST to know about these UNIQUE and NOVEL Calendars!!! Just click on the ‘subscribe’ button in the top right corner.

All calendars will be available for purchase in my ESTY store as they come off the design table.

Choose from:

Ornament Design…

Ornament Design

Ornament Design

Or Nutcracker Design:

Nutcracker Design

Nutcracker Design


How to place a CUSTOM ORDER will be available in my ESTY SHOP soon!!

New Direction!

This website has taken a new direction… AGAIN!

Originally it was decided this site would be used to promote books. Well… this is accomplished by me on so many other sites… for one, and for another. So I’m going back to promoting items I make and sell in my etsy store.

Currently available are:  Advent Calendars!

Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars

Designs include Graphic Ornaments, Nutcracker, and a Snowman. Three choices of inside art is also available… Cute Holiday Drawings, Riddles, and our best seller, Random Acts of Kindness. Here’s a sneak peek:

Inside options for calendars

Inside options for calendars

For availability and TO PLACE AN ORDER please go to my etsy store.

DIY Kits, a tutorial, and custom calendars are ‘in the works’. Check back often for updates.