What I’m about to show you is the best thing ever. No, really. If I had to pick one childhood tradition/memory/object/whatever, it would be this little strip of felt right here.
This exact one, in fact. Yeah, I’m cheating a little here and posting a craft that I didn’t do myself. Rather, my mom made this 30-something years ago.
The hand-written message at the top reads:
December 1st to Christmas
Is the longest time of year –
Seems as though ole Santa
Never will appear!
How many days til Christmas?
It’s mighty hard to count,
So this little ribbon of candy
Will tell the exact amount.
Untie a candy every night when
The sandman casts his spell
And Christmas will be here by
The time you reach the bell!
That’s right, it’s another Advent Calendar. We each had one of these growing up, and we couldn’t wait until after dinner each night to eat our piece of candy. In fact, some of us didn’t (coughAndycough). There were a couple of years there that all the candy would be gone by December 3rd (or at least all the candy Andy could reach). On Christmas Eve, we’d eat our last piece of candy, then go nuts ringing the bells.
The candy chain is pretty much the entire reason I had a kid of my own, so of course I had to start the tradition with her first Christmas. Best part? She’s too little for chocolate, but I’m not! This will probably be the last year she shares with me, though.
I had vague intentions of making a new one for her, but since I still had mine I allowed laziness to take over. This will likely be a craft that gets put off until I have 2 children, because then they’ll each need their own.
But, if you’re interested in making one, it’s not very hard–and there’s still time, you just get to eat the whole first week’s worth of candy at once! The felt is about 5 inches wide and 38 inches long. The top is hemmed at about 1 inch and a small dowel is used to hang it. 25 ribbons are attached at about every inch (there’s a strip of thick seam binding on the back used as stabilizer, and 3 rows of straight stitches along the length hold all the ribbon on. The poem is hand-written on heavy cardstock and hand-sewn on with a simple blanket stitch.