The whole project came about because I already had a super girly Christmas countdown thing for my girls, and I wanted something equally special for Scott (who’s 9, if you aren’t keeping track). Like most people (I really hope we aren’t the only ones.) we have huge amounts of Legos filling a giant bin in a disarray of disassembled Star Wars ships, Superhero bases, and Hagrid’s hut complete with giant spiders. We’ve had the expensive Lego calendars in the past, and I’ve seen some DIY ones on Pinterest, but I wanted something a little more exciting, a little more personal, and a lot funnier. Because that’s Scott.
SO!! First I wrote the story in 24 parts. It’s intentionally ridiculous. Because super-smart nine-year-olds love ridiculous. Then I spent a couple of nights fishing through the bin to build the pieces that should go with it. I was determined not to buy any new Legos for this project, so there are few goofy looking pieces (ahem, Santa’s “hat”), but it was fun to get creative with that huge pile.
Is this basically an excuse for a grown woman to play with Legos? YES! YOU SHOULD TRY IT!
Seriously, you have to try this. Write your own story if you’re up for it (and if you do, and you send me a picture of the result, I will personally mail you a copy of my book for free). If not, feel free to borrow mine. You can get the printable version right here. Don’t stress over it. If you don’t have a Batman, change it out for a different superhero (or Yoda or a girl or anything you want). If you can’t build a random vacuum that looks like mine, invent your own. And though my girls would probably enjoy this, I made it for my son, so if you want to girl it up for the girl in your life, go for it. Do it your way! The point is to have fun.
Okay. Enough talk. Here it is:
1. This is Hal. Don’t lose him. He’s going to be very important to the story later. He may be cold. Build him a little shelter to keep warm while he waits for what comes next.
2. Hal is an astronomer. This is his telescope. Make sure he is watching the stars tonight. There’s something he won’t want to miss!
3. Hal is looking up at the universe when he sees this! It’s a meteor, and it’s headed straight for earth. By Hal’s calculations, it will hit on Dec. 24, just in time to destroy Christmas (and incidentally the whole Earth). It’s up to Hal to stop it!
4. This is the President of the United States. He talking on the phone to Hal about a meteor. Why is he laughing? He doesn’t believe Hal! If the president won’t help, what is Hal going to do?
5. This is the Christmas tree in the park in New York City. It’s big, isn’t it? Hal is pretty sure the meteor is going to land right here, but no one believes him. Instead, they just keep hanging more ornaments on the tree. Maybe you can add a few while you think about what Hal should do.
6. This is Batman. Of course he’s real! Hal has called him to see if he will help. He is on board, but he doesn’t have any superpowers, so this isn’t going to be easy. Luckily, he’s really smart and has a lot of money. I’ll be he and Hal are going to come up with something great.
7. Is this what you think it is? Yes! You are right! This is the beginning of a space ship! Batman and Hal are building it to fly up into space. Help them attach the wings. They only have a couple of weeks to get this thing built and figure out how to use it.
8. What is this? It looks like a bunker! It IS a bunker! The president said he didn’t believe Hal, so why is he building a bunker to hide in? He made it in Christmas colors, but we’re not fooled. He doesn’t love Christmas. If he did, he wouldn’t be letting a meteor destroy it.
9. Hal and Batman have been hard at work. They’ve built these giant guns to go on their space ship. It looks like they plan to blast that meteor right out of the air! Or wait, not air. Right out of the vacuum of space! Help them add the guns to the ship while there’s still time.
10. What’s all this white stuff? It’s snow! Snow is falling fast and thick. This is going to make it hard to launch the space ship. Batman and Hal will need to figure out how to deal with this new complication. On the bright side, we can use the snow to cover the president’s bunker. Serves him right if he gets trapped inside!
11. What a weird contraption this is! It was Hal’s idea to clear away the snow with this thing. It’s a giant vacuum cleaner! If they can suck up all the snow on the launch pad, they should be able to get their space ship off the ground.
12. They did it! Hal and Batman have launched the space ship and are soaring through space toward the meteor. It wasn’t until they were in the air that they discovered this present hidden on board. Who could have put it there? Did Santa come early? Don’t peek inside! It’s not Christmas yet!
13. Of course Hal opened the present. You know he couldn’t help himself. Batman would have waited, but then, he has the training and discipline of a ninja. Hal doesn’t recognize this weird thing inside, but the note sure is interesting. “In case of emergency.” Well, that’s handy. On this dangerous mission, emergencies are pretty likely.
14. The space ship has arrived at the meteor, and Batman is preparing to shoot it to pieces. But what is this weird thing? It’s an alien! This isn’t a meteor! It’s an alien ship in disguise.
15. Watch out, Batman and Hal! The alien is shooting at you! Well, great. The alien has destroyed the guns on Hal’s ship. Luckily for Hal, he has Batman with him. With some fast flying, Batman manages to swipe the alien with one wing. The alien got knocked out! Good thing they made those wings so strong! Unfortunately, the meteor/alien ship is still hurtling toward Earth and that Christmas tree! What are they going to do? This is a serious emergency!
16. Like you, Hal remembered something about the word emergency. The present! He pulled out the weird object and yelled, “This is an emergency!” Then the whole thing unfolded into this. What is it? Could it be a giant hammer? It’s way too big for Hal to use. It’s even too big for Batman. Maybe if we attach it to the ship it will work?
17. Good job getting that hammer attached! With some careful flying and and a big swing, the hammer has smashed the meteor! Here are some of the pieces. You can break the rest up yourself. Of course, the danger isn’t over. There are meteor pieces flying in every direction. Look out, Hal! Look out, Batman!
18. Oh no! One of the meteor pieces has knocked a huge hole in the side of the spaceship and Hal is floating out into space. Good thing he put on this space helmet before it happened. He has oxygen for a few minutes, but he won’t last long out there in the vacuum!
19. Back on Earth, something interesting is happening. The secret service has delivered this wreath to the president’s bunker. It looks very pretty there on the snow, but it seems to me like it they could have used their time better digging out their leader instead of decorating.
20. Oh wait! The wreath was just a fake, so that any spies who were watching wouldn’t know the president had been trapped. Really, it’s an explosive device and it blows all the snow off the bunker! The president is free to come out now, and the first thing he does is make a call on his special red and green phone. Who could he be calling?
21. Look! It’s Santa! The president has called Santa Claus! It seems he had a lot of time to think inside that bunker, and he feels bad for making Hal handle this crisis on his own. The president isn’t such a bad guy after all. Santa agrees to see if he can help Hal with the meteor.
22. As you probably remember, when we left Hal, he was floating through space with only minutes left to live. Good thing Santa came to check on him in this magical flying sleigh! Santa pulls Hal into the sleigh and goes to look for Batman and the damaged ship.
23. Why is Santa getting out rope? They’ve found the ship, that’s why. Batman picked up the unconscious alien floating through space. They’re going to tie him up and use the rest of the rope to tow the ship back to earth. Santa speaks alien, which is how they discover that the alien doesn’t understand Christmas. He saw that giant tree and thought it was a missile. That’s why he attacked. Sounds like someone has a lot to learn.
24. Hal and Batman have saved Christmas! With a little help from Santa Claus. And now we have an alien who needs to know what Christmas is! Gather up the tree, the wreath, the present, and the snow. Give that alien some hot chocolate and this plate of cookies. Merry Christmas, alien! Merry Christmas, Batman! Merry Christmas, Mr. President! Merry Christmas, Santa Claus! And most importantly, Merry Christmas, Hal! You’re our hero.
So there you go! I just packaged these simply in brown lunch bags, wrote a number on each bag and slapped a bow on for extra festivity.
I’m sure you could make them much prettier, but I know my son, and I know his disregard for packaging. I decided to spend my energy on the story instead!
The following instructions will come with bag #1:
A Lego advent-ure awaits you! Open one bag each day, but be careful not to crush the masterpiece inside! Read the story paper inside to follow the action, and then feel free to play with the Legos as much as you like. Just be sure not to lose them! You’ll need those pieces later in the story, so find a central location to keep your heroes safe. Good luck!
What do you think? Are you up for it? There are still four days before December 1, plenty of time to get your build on.