Monday, November 28, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar

My family always had an advent calendar when I was growing up. My brother and sister and I used to take turns counting down 'til Christmas and it's a tradition I love. As I grew up, I started buying my own advent calendars.

In December's Martha Stewart Living they show an advent chain - 24 tiny presents wrapped and hanging in a chain. I decided to try making one for Jesse, but teeny-tiny gifts are harder to find than I would have thought!

Step one was going out and tracking down 24 small presents. I tried to buy things that were already in a box to make the final product look a bit neater. A few items weren't boxed so when I got home, I put them in some small boxes we already had. Here's what I came up with:

Cookies, a tie, playing cards, boxers, shaving cream, one of those daily calendars, a new mini-umbrella, a box of Milk Bones (for the pup), colorful band-aids, among other things. I also made a few small donations in Jesse's name to a few of our favorite charities and wrote out a message in gift wrap to include on the chain:

Next up was wrapping everything. I found three different papers - one solid red and two pattered ones that coordinated nicely. I wrapped all of the gifts and wrote out labels for each of the days:

Finally, I grabbed ribbon (luckily I already had red, light blue, and green which coordinated with the paper). To keep thinks as Martha-esque as possible, I tied each of the boxes together using the ribbon - they're all linked like a chain.

Since obviously this is too heavy to hang (especially when it's just linked by curling ribbon), so I decided to use it as a centerpiece for the table in our breakfast nook. Every evening, Jesse can snip off one of the presents until Christmas Day!

With a few days left until December, will you be making or buying an advent calendar to use this year? Stay jolly and stay homey!


  1. What an awesome idea. My wife should definitely make me one of these except it should be a year calendar

  2. This is really sweet. I definitely love the concept. Did you give yourself a budget for it? I kind of like this in lieu of stocking stuffers. My husband and I put a price cap on our stocking stuffers, but maybe we will skip that tradition this year and do this instead, where each of us buying 12 presents, and alternate opening them every day until Christmas. I will be sure to link up your clever idea if we do it. :)

  3. Charlie - I hope that doesn't happen. As of right now, a certain homey husband is feeling like he wishes he had gotten the hungry housewife (bacon wrapped sausage, anyone?) so I need this advent calendar to distinguish me as halfway-decent-homey-housewife.

    Lauren - I LOVE your idea of buying 12 presents and opening them every other day. So awesome! I didn't have a budget in mind but the small gifts add up for sure! Let us know how it goes and please send us the link if you end up doing it!

  4. Wow! This is a heavy duty chain! You should have bought items for yourself and sprinkled them in! Then when he got to day four and was like, 'what's this mascara?' you can act really surprised :) haha!

    Love it!

  5. That wrapping paper is beautiful, just perfect for this project. It looks great as a centerpiece, and your husband is one lucky guy... I'd love to open a gift a day, picked out just for me! Thanks for sharing this link, I really love this idea.

  6. Came over from Young House Love.

    This is such a sweet idea! I'm sure your husband is going to love the thought and effort you put in to it!


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