I love advent calendars – the paper (or cardboard) kind that has little windows that you open. You know what I’m talking about, right?
Well, we live in an age where technology is replacing paper. (I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of that at the moment.)
And there is a delightful — MOST DELIGHTFUL — site where you can create an online advent calendar where the little ‘doors’ will never rip off and the calendar will never get bent, worn, or ruined by little hands. Wahoo!
That site is YuleCal.
The great folks at YuleCal have created a wonderful product. It has three super qualities: their pictures are beautiful, it’s super easy to use, and it is VERY reasonably priced. Oh, it is way fun. (I guess that gives it four super qualities!) Oh, and it’s personalized. (Give that five great qualities.)
You can see one of their beautiful pictures above. I love that Victorian design. They also have this romantic realism picture.
And this nativity scene.
I LOVE all three of the pictures. However, if you want to use your own picture, you could certainly do that. It would be fun if you had a Christmas picture of the whole gang. Grandkids would absolutely love seeing themselves on the advent calendar.
It is SUPER easy to make your calendar. Can you click? Good. Can you navigate to where you have a bunch of pictures? Great. (For me, this is the hard part. Where did I save the pictures? Which folder is it in? Which computer is it on? Me oh my . . .)
As you are creating your calendar, you have a grid with 25 boxes. Once you’ve added a picture, it shows as a thumbnail of the picture in that grid. This makes is super easy to see which pictures you have used. (Read that to mean easy so you don’t duplicate pictures. Voice of experience here. . .) You can also add a title for the picture and a description.
When you are satisfied, you can share your advent calendar with family (or friends). Enter in the e-mail addresses, add a brief message, and off goes the link to your calendar for all to enjoy.
When your grandchildren get the e-mail message, they click on the link to see your calendar. (You need to have an account to view private calendars.)
Your grandchildren move their mouse over the computer screen, find the right numbered box, and click on the it. For the first day, they click on box 1. For the second day, they click on box 2 and so forth. Here’s a picture of what the screen looks like with the clicked on boxes ‘revealed.’ Can you see the small thumbnail pictures of my grandchildren?
What is really cool is that when your grandkids click on the box they see an enlarged version of the picture. They also see the title and description that you’ve added. If they want, they can click the green heart that’s in the sidebar of the picture to show that they like the picture. Or they can add a message. You can see that I’ve added a message to this picture. (Aren’t they the cutest grandkids ever? I’m so glad that you agree.)
Now, for the super fun part. There are several options at the top of the calendar. You can click ‘forget’ and all of the thumbnail pictures disappear. This gives your grandchild a fresh screen to start over with opening the advent windows.
After they click ‘forget’ so the boxes are once again hidden, they can click ‘shuffle’ and all of the thumbnails are rearranged so that the boxes are in different spots. This means your grandchild can’t memorize where the thumbnails are. They have to search for them. This is a huge advantage over the paper calendars because paper advent calendars can’t more their little windows around.
There’s also a ‘reveal’ option that reveals all of the pictures that should be opened up to that point in time. This is really nice for young children who might not have the ability to find the numbered boxes.
Or, your grandchild could just click on ‘open.’ For every ‘open’ click, the program will open up a box until the correct number of boxes for the day are opened.
You can click on the ‘grid’ option and all of the boxes are arranged in a grid. This makes it easy for young kids to find the pictures. So you can have the boxes on a grid for young children or shuffled for older ones.
I’ve saved the two best features for last. This is a personalized calendar. You can use pictures of your family and your grandkids will get a kick out of seeing everybody’s pictures — especially their own. If you bought a paper advent calendar, it would have pictures that someone else selected that aren’t as meaningful as your personal pictures. Because you use family pictures, grandkids will play with it over and over.
The second best feature is that it is a wonderful way to connect with your grandchildren who live far away. They miss being around family during the holidays. (YOU miss having them around!) This is one way to ‘be together’ even if it is virtually.
I give this site 2 thumbs up! Heck, I’d give it more if I had more thumbs!
25% Discount for your Advent Calendar!
Did you see that? The good folks at YuleCal are offering my readers a 25% discount. The calendars are regularly priced at $6.99. That is a very reasonable price to begin with. The discount will bring the price down to about $5.25. Sweet.
To get your discount use the code GMIDEAS25 when you go to purchase your calendar.
Be sure to take advantage of this discount.This is a great calendar and a great discount. Go over there now to get your own personalized advent calendar.
Hurry! Get over there as soon as you can because the days are flying by and Christmas will be here before you know it!