Countdown to Christmas... Santa Style

Growing up my mom would pull out the Advent calendar on December 1, my brother and I would fight over who would get to open up the windows and doors. My mom's Advent calendar was a cardboard one that she put contact paper over to preserve it. Every year I have looked for a neat Advent calendar and have never been able to find one. I finally found one but with Christmas being on the "lean" this year I can not see forking over $20 for a calendar for myself, when I have two small children. So I decided to try to make it out of Popsicle sticks.

I found this picture of what I am aiming for:
http://image.orientaltrading.com/otcimg/95_885.jpg

I figured I could make the Santa out of Polymer Clay and paint him.

The dimensions I am shooting for are 13 1/2" x 5 1/4" or there about. I will keep everyone posted on my progress on this one.

UPDATE 11/27/09:
I finished it yesterday! I am extremely pleased with how it turned out. I will post my thought process, trials and errors soon!