Last year, when Chloe was a curious wee one, she would grab at the ornaments on our 'big' tree. I ended up giving her own little tree with little ornaments that she would drag around the house and play around with. I thought it would be a fun tradition for Chloe to have her own tree again this year, but this time it would be made of felt and so would the ornaments.
Those are 24 little ornaments, lovingly handmade by Chloe, me, and my mom. I knew I wanted to incorporate some fun and crafting into making this Advent calendar, so instead of putting store-bought or ready-made trinkets in the bags, we made some of our own. Chloe only made a few of them and then my mom and I made the rest while she was napping so there still is a bit of surprise for her. A fun outcome of this project - my mom really got into making the ornaments and made some beautiful designs. I'm not gonna lie... the thought of taking these hand-made ornaments out years from now when Chloe is all grown up and Grandma no longer around, brought a tear to my eye. I love that my mom had so much fun doing this.
Each bag contains an ornament and Chloe will get to put one on the tree each day. Another bonus - felt sticks to felt so no adhesive is necessary to make the ornaments hang on the tree! For another fun surprise, I've added activity cards in some of the bags. On the days those bags get opened, we'll do some special things, like write Santa a letter or bake some cookies. I made sure to put the cards so that they fall on weekends when we have more time and dad's around to join in on the fun ;)
So now where to put them? Not a lot of choice in our small house. I strung a red bead garland across the plantation shutters in our dining room. Then I simply tied the bags around the garland. Easy peasy and the cotton bags work well with the country-ish wreath I have in that room.
I plan to take this advent calendar & tree out every year going forward. Maybe we'll make some new felt ornaments and add new activities as the years pass. I'm going to love telling and retelling Chloe the story of how we made these ornaments with Grandma. That's what traditions, are all about, right?