In two days Advent starts and we are excited because of the cosy atmosphere of the German Christmas Markets and the approach of Christmas. We keep everything really simple, slow and authentic. I have already written here about our Gratitude Calendar this year and I have received questions and requests to share how this calendar looks like. I’m happy to show you how I made it.
You will need:
a wooden cercle
eucalyptus leaves or little branches (you can also use fir or other evergreens)
the 24 ideas to practice gratitude that you will find here
24 images to associate with each gratitude practice and make little cards
about 2 sheets of paper to print the cards, depending on the size you want to make them
—> To make the little cards, I have searched for 24 pictures to illustrate each gratitude practice. You could, of course, find pictures on Internet but I have preferred to use pictures of our daily life. For example, a picture of our home for the card number 6 (I am grateful for our home), a picture of my daughter baking for the card number 12 (I am grateful for the healthy food we eat), a picture of our family for the card number 13 (I am grateful for the time we spend together)
I have printed the images in small format around 3 to 4 centimeters high. I copy-pasted them in a Powerpoint Document and allowed some space between the pictures so that I can cut little cards and have enough space to handwrite the gratitude practices. I have printed everything and I needed 2 sheets of paper for all the pictures. I have used a beautiful paper (watercolor style) for the nice texture.
After having printed the cards, I cut them and hand written the gratitude practices. Then I folded them in the middle to obtain 24 cards like little books with the gratitude practice and the image inside.
I have then written the 24 numbers corresponding to each card, on the front cover of the little “books”. You can see the result in the first picture of this blogpost
—> To make the wreath, I have simply tied the eucalyptus leaves with some wool yarn around the wooden circle
I have left one side empty to hang 7 wool yarns of different sizes.
With a needle I have made a hole in the upper right corner of each of the 24 little books and then attached 3 to 5 little books on each of the yarn, with the help of a needle.
It took me about 1 hour to find the pictures and it was so nice to go through “old” pictures from the time when my daughter was a baby and some recent ones. And it took me round 30 minutes to put the pictures together, print and write the card and sew them on the wool yarns as well as making the wreath. I would say 2 hours all in all. It was fun. I have only used what we had around the house, except for the eucalyptus leaves that I bought in a local flower shop.
Usually I do this kind of handiwork together with my daughter while she works on her own handicraft projects and ideas. This time I did it alone because I want his Advent Calendar to be a surprise for her.
What we did together though was an Advent Wreath. With the eucalyptus leaves that I didn’t use for the Advent calendar we decided to do a wreath. In Germany (and other countries) there is the tradition of lighting four candle, one extra candle on each Sunday before Christmas. I like this tradition and we do it each year.
Just like our Advent Calendar, our Advent Wreath is very simple and minimalistic. On a wooden plate we bended a couple of eucalyptus branches and knotted them together with wool yarn. In the middle we added 4 candles made of organic pure beeswax. We made the candles ourselves and you can find our tutorial here
These are our only preparations for Advent this year. During the 24 days before Christmas we will bake, read our Winter books and our Christmas books, spend time drinking apple juice at the Christmas Markets and relax. We will decorate our living little pine tree with treats for the animals and birds in our garden. And that’s it. No Christmas rush and no stress.
Would love to hear how you prepare for the festivals you celebrate this Winter. You can leave a comment here or on Instagram