An Advent Tree - Tween made for tweens

Saturday morning saw me listening to the radio while taking some time to savour a cup of tea before starting the day - often a rare event for me. As I sat, listening with half an ear to the chatter focusing on craftiness..Festive craftiveness in particular, my mind wandered to how many plans I had in this area and how little I had actually achieved. The craft heart inside me felt weighted down by a million balls of unknitted yarn, bags of unspun fleece and the fabric piles that are threatening to take over my craft area.

As the conversation shifted from giving gifts of handmade to creating for oneself, my ears perked up. Advent calenders were mentioned, something I love the idea of but cringe like nothing you've seen before when I come across the mass produced ones offering a square of cheaply made, most likely un-ethical chocolate for each day's treat...

And yes, just like you, I have seen those organised people posting on their blogs sharing pictures of their beautifully made, patchwork or felted calenders, made long before the call of the festive season. But what of me? Unorganised soul, sitting slumped over my cooling cup of tea, pondering over the lack of such a handmade delight on this, the 1st of December?

My ears pricked up even more as the radio guest's talk veered towards time-saving ideas. An advent tree! Made with envelopes! One for each day..filled with a trinket of love, perhaps a good wish and a homemade treat. Oh yes, this is exactly what we needed. Something quick to make, and easily delegated to the tweens' of the household, for those would be the ones enjoying it most.

I raided my drawer of stationary from days gone by when I used to post actual snail mail Envelopes! 24 of them. Numbered as so. These were divided up into three piles of 7, one pile for each girl with three left over for mama to fill. They were distributed with instructions to decorate and fill with items you might like to receive yourself.

While they were plotting their tokens of kindness, I went outside and gathered up an armful of fallen branches, stuffed them in an oversize vase and strung some pretty yarn around them.

The envelopes started making their way back to the 'tree'. Full now with secret goodies inside. Made by one sister for another. A good exercise in thinking for others, not just themselves which is so often the case.

A little sneaky co-ordination has taken place with the rostering of who opens an envelope on which particular day, being sure that the token has been made by another, and so on.

And the opening has commenced! A little origami delight and a handmade chocolaty treat for the youngest made by the middle one. A chewy treat for the dog last night as Sunday is a 'spare day' for us. What will tonight's opening reveal? I can only guess! I love the fact that they have made it for themselves, with more thought put in than could ever go into a cheap supermarket calender. I think there may be a friendship bracelet or two hiding in there, along with a handful of jokes that kids don't seem to tire of. Perhaps even some beads to make a bracelet..but shhh, that's one's just between you and me. The most important thing is that they filled them for each other with thought and love. x

The Advent Tree. A slight change from last year's Wishing Tree. 

Do you craft at this time of year? Do you have a handmade Advent calender? Perhaps it's a beautiful patchwork one, or even a wooden one with little doors? What kind of things do you put inside?


  1. Love it, Christine, well done Girls

  2. Hey Christine, what a great idea! Nothing like those panic stricken last minutes for inspiration, is there? I think I will keep this in mind for next year when Nov 30 comes around and I am stuck!
    You are welcome to link to our advent calendar coz I'm going to be keeping yours in my Xmas files for 2013!!

  3. Oh that is lovely - so can anyone choose an envelope or are they made with a specific person in mind? I have in the past made a banner with little pockets filled with little gifts for loved ones far away - it was such fun finding small gifts.

  4. I love this idea and so much nicer than store bought advent calendars. This year my son and his wife are trying to figure out how to countdown to Christmas with their 4 year olds, they realize Christmas is coming, but can't quite get the concept of the time around their little heads.

  5. Love it Christine. I'll bet the girls loved putting it all together as well.
    I finally did my advent calendar this year. I had grand plans for it last year and then never happened. This year with a flurry of activity, finished with a couple of days to spare. I'm so glad I did. The endless question of "how many days until Christmas?" can now be answered with a point of the finger towards the bunting advent hanging on the book case.

  6. i love that your children made it themselves! it makes it much more special! yes we have an advent calendar here! finally got around to sewing one this year and the children are loving it!
    we love crafting in this house (at all times of year) but especially at christmas!!

  7. Such a clever and simple idea - far more memorable than one bought. Especially, because the girls helped to fill the envelopes, they will enjoy it all the more. Beautiful!

  8. It is so much more special when you make your own with children. I like the idea of putting jokes as well as treats inside.
    My daughter and I made our own advent calendar this year with little gifts inside. I wrote a post about it on my blog.


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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