I was thinking about saving this tutorial for next Christmas, but I've seen a lot of people doing something special for Valentine's day this year called the "14 Days of Valentines". I'm guessing it's a play off of the 12 days of Christmas, and I thought this might be a fun way to participate. This year I wanted to make Johnny an advent calendar since we didn't get to spend as much time together as we would have liked (he lives a little ways away from me).
I used my favorite little single truffle boxes, which you saw as place cards during Thanksgiving , as the containers for my little gifts. I drew all the numbers on them while they were flat with a green felt-tip marker. All the objects I collected or made were something from our relationship, either actually or symbolically. It was harder than I thought it would be to find 23 little items that would fit in the boxes, but it all came together so sweetly.
Now, I say 23 items because an advent calendar usually ends on Christmas Eve because you get all your regular presents on Christmas Day, but also I wanted to do something extra special for the item he got on Christmas Eve. I bought a couple paper mache' ornament bases and we decided to make them for eachother a while ago. Mine ended up being the perfect end to the calendar. It's covered in petals from the first bunch of roses he ever gave me.
Our song is "La Vie En Rose", so I found the original french lyrics online and copied/pasted and edited them to be 23 lines, with the last 3 lines specially printed to go into the ornament. (Those lines, loosely translated read, "I look inside myself and feel my heart is beating.") After I printed them I cut them into strips and was careful to keep them in order.
I wound each strip around a knitting needle to turn it into a lovely little paper curl, which I placed in each box with an item.
After everything was boxed and wrapped, I cut a bunch of little pieces of baker's twine long enough to easily tie bows. You want to make sure that the boxes are easy to get off the line, so I laid the long piece of twine connecting all the boxes on top of the little handles and tied the bow around everything, so it just needs to be tugged on and it will come off easily.
I took it to the living room and hung it on my mantle to make sure I left enough extra string for Johnny to hang it on his at home. And then I packed it carefully and shipped it off! Needless to say he was very surprised! Here it is on his mantle: