Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gift Idea—Christmas Advent Boxes

Aunt Ethel made us an advent tree one year. It was a wall hanging in the shape of a tree with little gifts tied to it. Each morning one of us kids got to open one gift from the tree, counting down the days until Christmas. The gift I remember most was an ever-sharp pencil—the kind with ten little lead cartridges where you sharpened the pencil by pulling an old cartridge out and putting it in the top of the pencil which pushed a new little cartridge down into the tip.

Ever since Great-Aunt Ethel’s gift I’ve been replicating the advent. Some years I’ve filled a basket with 24 small wrapped gifts (a pencil, pen, magnet, lip salve, sucker, gum, key chain, bouncing ball, silly putty, frame, earrings, money clip, necklace, etc). Another year I tied little gifts to a table top tree. Several years ago I sewed a tree wall hanging (similar to Aunt Ethel’s) for my sister’s family and each year I send her little gifts to retie to the tree. While my in-laws were serving a mission in Australia I used envelopes and photographs to count the days down until Christmas. For missionaries, I’ve used a sock filled with count-down gifts. As you can see, there is no end to the variations of an advent.

I think advents make great gifts for at least three reasons:

1. It creates a family tradition.
2. Since advents must be ready to go by December 1st, shopping is done early and helps me avoid the last minute shopping/mailing chaos.
3. Items can be picked up year round to help spread out the Christmas expense and depending on your budget, you can buy inexpensive trinkets like the ones listed above or more expensive gifts. Advents fit every budget.

For the life of me I can’t get a good shot of this year’s advent creation. I’m so disappointed. It’s like trying to photograph food, the colors and details just aren’t clear so you’ll have to trust my description.

I bought four-drawer wooden boxes at the craft store and had Calvin glue them together. Then we painted and embellished them. We painted one box red and used simple rustic number stickers on the drawers.

We painted another box black and added embellishments like little cookie cutter charms, ribbons, tags and buttons along with the numbers. To add more Christmas color, I mod-podged some scrapbook paper to the outside of the boxes. In short, they are darling! I can’t wait to fill them and give them away at Thanksgiving.


Nikki said...

What a teaser that one door is! I'd love to see the whole finished project. Beautiful, meaningful, homemade...perfect. Someone is going to be so happy this Thanksgiving!!

Bertha said...

Lovely gift ideas!! Will follow them for Christmas.

Monkeys ARDently In Sinc said...

Hmm, am I on the list of potential receivers of this awesome gift? lol Great idea!
Good to see you tonight, by the way!

Carolyn said...

I love how crafty you are. I hope to be half as creative as you when I grow up.

Kathy said...

This is the cutest ever, so when I go shopping for jewelery with Brenda, can I go to the craft store with you? Anyway, which craft story did you by the boxed and where what are those little cookie cutters?

michelle said...

Wonderful! I love love love advent calendars and am contemplating doing one on a small tree this year...