I’m not mentally ready, but the holidays are coming regardless, so Saturday night I decided I might as well knock back a few and start making this house look like the holidays barfed all over it.
I started with the Advent Calendar since I figured we’d need it in just a few days.
Last year, I made 24 muslin bags and stenciled the numbers on them with gold leaf. I hung them from our banister. It worked well and it was fun to pick little items to put in each bag.
But this year, Mac is much more mobile and um curious so those bags didn’t stand a chance. Plus, I really didn’t want the hassle of finding 24 junky little items he could leave littered all over the house.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon these vellum envelopes I purchased on Clearance at the craft store a few months back. I had 3 packs of 10. This wasn’t enough for all the Holiday cards we’d be sending out but I kinda’ wanted to use them just so they’d stop taking up space in the basement. (I’m on a mission to get stuff in order. . .still).
I have an empty expanse of wall near the back door of the house that I’ve always pictured containing some large-scale art but that hasn’t materialized yet. And typically, I place our Norfolk Island Pine and a few other little holiday type items in the kitchen but I didn’t think that would be happening this year due to Mac’s aforementioned curiosity. I decided I could probably use the envelopes, arranged in the shape of a tree in that spot on the wall to add some cheap, who cares if it’s ruined (?) holiday cheer.
1. I counted out 24 envelopes. I measured an envelope and made a scrap paper template I used to cut card stock/scrap-book paper to slide into the interior of each envelope.
2. I placed the card stock in each envelope
3. Using one of those large paper punches from the craft store, I cut out 24 circles. (If you don’t have one, just trace an appropriately sized round object and carefully cut out each circle with scissors or an Exacto knife.)
4. Using a black Sharpie marker, I wrote a number on each round disc. (1 to 24). You could stencil them if you are particular.
5. Then I used a glue stick to attach the tops of the circles to the top flap of the envelopes. (Make sure not to glue the envelopes shut).
6. I also cut a star (traced freehand) out of some of the scrapbook paper and added some coordinating baker’s twine I had on hand.
7. Then I secured the envelopes to the wall with painter’s tape (so it doesn’t mar the wall when the envelopes are removed). I didn’t do anything tricky to get the tree shape. I did a little arranging on the counter first to get an idea of how many envelopes would be in each row and starting with envelope 1, kept building upon it until I was pleased with the shape of the tree.
Now what? Because you have 24 damned empty envelopes stuck to the wall. . and everyone knows Advent is about the birth of Jesus getting small gifts for an entire month before you get BIG gifts on the 25th day.
Well. . .for older kids, you could easily slip some stickers or gift cards or other relatively flat items in the envelopes before placing them on the wall. Although, by day 4, your tree is going to look worse than the one my Grandfather drunkenly lovingly lopped the top of off one year because it wouldn’t fit in the house. . .
So here’s what I decided. . .Mac doesn’t need a bunch of little junky things and I really don’t want to set him loose with stickers. . .and he doesn’t understand gift cards. But you know what he does like? Candy. And Cookies. So each evening, he’ll get a little piece of candy or a sweet treat after dinner.
In the meantime, I’ll be keeping a little log. I’ll write down things we did each day (i.e., seeing the live nativity at church, baking cookies, making holiday cards, etc.) and I’ll take some snapshots to commemorate the events.
And when the holiday is over, I’ll put the items in each envelope and rubber band them together and tuck them away for him to never look at again. I think it will be a fun way to remember his second December and maybe we can figure out what traditions and activities we really enjoyed as a family so we can continue them in subsequent years.
I’ll keep you posted. . .