Monday, December 2, 2013

Kicking and screaming towards the holidays...

I don't mind hearing Christmas music at the grocery store.
I don't care if you put up your tree the weekend before Thanksgiving.
When someone says "I'm finished my Christmas shopping" I'm happy for them and more than a little bit envious.

But, for the most part, I'm not one who gets into the spirit.  I'm not cranky or bah-humbug, I just...I just like routine, and Christmas (holidays in general, in fact) really messes with that.

So you can imagine my reaction when I found out that I had to create a Christmas decoration using Silhouette's Advent Calendar.  I was centered somewhere between a knot of dread in my stomach and full on panic.  And that lasted for days.  Every moment in the shower, driving to work, loading the dishwasher and folding laundry was spent wondering how I was going to pull this off.  Surely, I thought, my Christmas non-spirit would show through, and everyone would know I was a big, fat phony when it comes to Christmas cheer.

And maybe that was true in the beginning.  Maybe I was faking-it-til-you-make-it, but just as that implies, somewhere along the way a switch got flipped, and I started to have fun. Then I started glittering stuff and then I started having a LOT of fun.  And then I noticed glitter in Kerig's beard and, well, you just can't get any more fun than that!

Maybe you're asking yourself "So what did you do with it??"  Or not.  But let's proceed like you were actually curious, shall we?

After all the thinking about how I was going to do this, I finally came up with the idea of combining two of my favorite childhood Christmas traditions.  Our family didn't decorate the tree until Christmas Eve (I know, right?  Ridiculous!) so we didn't have the same level of daily anticipation that "kids these days" have. We did get the cardboard Advent Calendars, and the best part of them was hunting for the day.  What was behind the door was never really all that great, but there was something about looking at all the numbers and finding the right one - that was the exciting part to me.  The other thing that I liked was this thing that my aunt made for us.  It's too hard to explain, but it suffices to say that it had 25 peppermint candies tied to it and every night after dinner we got to untie one and have our mint.  Twofold greatness: candy AND getting to watch the line of mints get shorter every day!

So my thought for this was to combine the two elements I liked best - the hunt for the right day and candy.  On December 1st, this will be nothing but rows of numbered bags. On the first day, we'll find the number 1 bag, and have the Hershey's Nuggets that are inside, and then rehang the bag with the decoration side out.  Every day we'll repeat this process, and as Christmas approaches, it will go from boring rows of numbers to lots and lots of sparkling Christmas and winter scenes.

 Here's a couple of the decorated sides:

Ok. I'm not going to pretend that I don't have favorites.  And this snowman and that penguin? They're the favorites.  You can't tell in the picture, I don't think, but the snowman's eyes and coal buttons are actually black glitter.  Who knew there was an actual use for black glitter??  Well. Now you know! Adorable.  (That is so not humble. But I'm just so pleased with them!)

These are distant runners-up in the favorites category, but it doesn't matter, because the cumulative effect of all these little boxes is sheer Christmasy goodness.  This is going to stay on the shelf behind the sofa, where it'll get seen a lot and is easily accessible to for bag-flipping-and-candy-retrieving.

Be sure to stop by the Silhouette blog to see the other girls' ideas for the Advent Calendar.

And if you're wondering about supplies:
Simple Stories Snowflake-Chevron paper (for the bag)(I *love* this paper and wish I had some left over.  the black/grey chevron is fantastic)
Lawn Fawn Peace Joy Love 6x6 paper pad (for the little patterned bits)(except the snowman's and penguin's nose - that's a scrap of BoBunny paper.)
Lawn Fawn Peace Joy Love Mixed Sequins  and Lawn Fawn Peace Joy Love Snowflake Sequins are the random bits here and there.
The glitter could be from Silhouette or Martha Stewart, and the penguin's hat is glittered using Doodlebug's Sugar Coatin Chunky Glitter
All the shapes except the bag are from the Silhouette online store.  You can see the Silhouette blog post for clickable links for those.
The bag itself is something I made so it would fit perfectly within the structure of the advent calendar and be wide enough to hold a couple of Hershey's Nuggets.  If you're interested, ask for it in the comment section and I'll send it your way.
And, ohmygoodness, is that another aflairforbuttons flair? Why, yes. Yes it is.  And I'll tell you another thing: that link takes you to the set of flair that has the one I used, but I didn't buy that.  I actually did the 12 custom buttons option.  I just didn't have a need for 8 (eight!!) Christmas themed buttons.  So I picked a couple of Christmasy flair and then mixed in some more Caroline-friendly themes.  ;)  (No. I'm not in the aflairforbutton lady's back pocket.  I just love these flair pieces.)

Thanks (as always) for stopping by! I hope your December is off to a great start!


  1. Are you KIDDING ME!?!? This is INCREDIBLE. You need to submit this for publication somewhere. What an awesome project. I can not imagine how long that took you to make. Well done! I am so impressed.

    Decorating your tree on Christmas Eve? I would be hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. Way to much going on to have to deal with tree decorating.

  2. I love, love, LOVE your advent calendar! The dark paper with snowflakes is awesome, the individually-decorated bags are so adorable, and I love the fact that you mixed the numbers so part of the fun is finding the right day. I'm sure glad you broke out the Christmas spirit early this year! (We're one of those who had the tree up and decorated before Thanksgiving, but that's all my husband's fault.) ;)