Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday Advent Calendar

Hello Friends!

Yes, it has been a while! Don't worry about me - I have been working on some house stuff, but haven't been so good at blogging about it. I'm going to try to post a little more, even if it's just about the little projects.

On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up and wanted to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Growing up, it was one of those "why do we have to watch this?" things on TV. But now, as an adult, for as many other exciting things that were on TV at the time, I've realized that this is a tradition in my family. We do it every year. You can expect to wake up and watch the Thanksgiving day parade - it's just how it goes! There were certainly better shows on at the time, like the Modern Family marathon or even some recorded episodes of NCIS, but darn it- you can't mess with tradition!

We haven't really formed any holiday traditions of our own around here - Ben doesn't think he ever really had any. (We'll work on that.) But since I'm describing some of the traditions I've known over the years, one of the others that's important to me is the holiday advent calendar.

As a kid, every December, we pulled out the advent calendar. It's a hanging calendar, with a big felt tree and tiny stuffed velcro-backed fabric ornaments in little pockets. Each night before bed, me and my sister would take turns putting the day's ornament on the tree until it was finally Christmas!

I wanted to bring that tradition back around to my house. I definitely wanted to make, and not buy, one. My strategy was to go with things that I mostly had laying around or in storage.

So here's my mirrored advent calendar!

I used a mirror I hadn't been using, and attached some 3M clear cable-hanging hooks in a grid. For the remaining items, I cut some branches from a tree outside and allowed my advent calendar numbers to overflow onto it. I threw a red bead garland on the mirror for some color.

The numbers are simply white cardstock cut into little flags, and I drew numbers carefully onto each of them. They're hung on the backs with painter's tape. I used baker's twine to hang numbers 1 through 4 on the branches.

I love that the mirror still bounces light around the room, and you can see other Christmas-y areas of the room (like the fireplace) in the reflection. Mirrors don't always photograph so well.

How to do it...
Last year, I bought a ton of ornaments on super-clearance at Kohl's after Christmas. This ended up paying off, because I almost had enough ornaments for all 24 of my days in December!!

I have the ornaments stored in glass vases nearby on the dining table (it does double-duty as a table centerpiece). Every day, starting today, we'll put an ornament on the "calendar" next to the date flag. By the time December 24th rolls around, the entire mirror/calendar will become a display of the cute ornaments I've collected/purchased. Yes, there are a few bunny and dog ornaments for Todd & Toby. ;)

The rest of the vignette you see in the photos is just my little collection of Christmas trees. I'm thankful that I chose neutral colors all around - after all, this is a new tradition!

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