Monday, December 16, 2013

Dare to Deck the Halls: Paper Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

At the beginning of December, I instagrammed a few photo of the making of our homemade paper Christmas tree Advent calendar.

Well, Kim of Newlywoodwards requested that I blog about the little paper trees and join the link up for her Dare to Deck the Halls blog party. Since this was back in the beginning of December (practically a lifetime ago) it's a miracle that I even remembered! So, this is for you, Kim. :)

I bravely gave my kids lots of red, blue, and green paint while they were inside my house. I proceeded to hand them an assortment of Christmas cookie cutters, tp rolls, and corks with which to "stamp" a large quantity of white paper.

After a while, our process devolved into hand printing and finger painting. Possibly even taste testing.


Then I dumped my tiny hooligans in a bathtub and attacked our table, floor, and walls with soap and water. Victory was mine.

Once our prints were dry, we traced circles onto the paper using different size dinner plates. Later, after the wee ones were abed, I cut out the circles and cut each circle in half. Joseph would point out that you call this particular shape a "semi-circle". He knows things.

Then I hot glued (screw you, Elmers) my "semi-circles" into 25 rolled Christmas trees and topped them with white pom poms and some star and angel shapes cut out from cookie cutter stamps. Voila! Transformed kitchen table into Christmas Tree Forest!

Under each tree, I hid goodies for the munchkins. Mostly leftover Halloween candy, but I also included card games, popcorn, hot cocoa, and the crowning 25th tree treat:

Giant Christmas lollipops. Every kid needs one of those for breakfast on Christmas morning, right?

Now, ideally, I would have also included written activities under each tree. Love that idea. However, my schedule is ever changing and full of chaos, so it seemed unwise to write down fun activities that may or may not be practically achieved on any given day. Recipe for disastrous 3 year old disappointment! Instead, Mommy has magically come up with a "very special Advent activity" on the spot after checking under our tree each night. Whatever worked best at the time, particularly given the closeness of the holy grail that is bedtime. Examples include setting up our nativity set and discussing family, watching the Polar Express, baking cookies, reading Twas the Night Before Christmas, etc.

The trees have been a big hit with the kiddos and I love that they helped to make them. They get so excited to check under them after dinner each night!

I can't imagine why...

We brush our teeth really well. With extra care.

It has even led to amicable sharing. So heartwarming!

Of course, it has also led to tantrums by little 1.5 year old girls who want to look under all the trees RIGHT NOW and don't see why they have to wait or why their brother should get a turn. Drama queen.

Less heartwarming. More eye rolling.


  1. YOU BLOGGED!!! I am SO proud!!! :)
    I love this idea, and I am super impressed that you set it all up and followed through despite the 1.5 year old diva baby. ;)

  2. Also... very impressed with the new Header :)

  3. oh wow! this is adorable! love that the kids were a big part of making and enjoying!

  4. I. LOVE. THESE.

    SO happy that you remembered and linked them up. This is such a clever idea to get the kids involved.

    Henry and I made a paper chain advent this year. Which actually means that I made it while he swung from the light fixture.

  5. Love this! It's great that the kids helped make it. We do activities in our calendar, but I make sure that I have my google calendar set to remind me what the activity is the day before so I can change it right quick if it turns out to be too ambitious for that day. I also went with a lot of really quick and easy things that are fun but don't require leaving the house this year :)

  6. I wanted to be able to send you a picture of the two camels I made my children for Christmas I am too a camel fanatic since moving to Dubai in the Middle East. I made one each for my kids and made a rug for each out of a real camel rug with pockets to put their stocking fillers in. I dont know how to send you a photo - i was so excited when I found your blog post and saw the camel you made. Thank you for sharing the pattern regards happy christmas Shauna Johnston


Your comments make my day!!