The construction turned out to be much more work than I anticipated (a few hours of sewing involved) and so we ended up being really late. The girls wanted to add ladybugs, butterflies and glittery pompoms - not exactly holiday icons but in the end I think it turned out lovely and all that's left to do is add their names, hang it up and fill it with chocolates and small toys.
Instead of using it as a calender though (I also had a problem with the numbers/dates), I'm going to treat it as a stocking and fill it with treats, little love notes and surprises for Christmas Day.
Some tips if you want to create your own calendar:
1. Plan ahead and keep it simple.
2. Involve the kids. Let them help choose the decorations or crafts. (I wish now I'd started earlier and got my supplies from the crafting wonderland in Hawally. But at the same time, the kit made it super easy to do and the backing for the calender is durable and perfect for hanging and we will be able to keep it again for next year.
3. Include photos, trinkets, tokens or drawings from the kids on the calendar as decoration. (I waited too late to start my calendar but next year we'll add laminated photos of the girls and decorations that they make.)
4. Be sure to include their names somewhere.
5. Don't just fill it with chocolate but also include small gifts, notes and reasons to be thankful.
6. Remember you only need 24 days!