a holiday project: counting the days to Christmas

I've seen many, many great ideas for an advent calendar.  One that caught my eye on Pinterest was done with plain old tags.  Although the original idea I saw used ribbon or string and you tied or clipped the tags on a garland like concept... for me, well I knew I wanted to add them to my garden gate!

And really...  since I'm a day late on this one... and it's the 2nd of December already, I thought I'd better get on showing it off a bit!

I was fortunate to come across tags exactly the size and style I wanted... and you will never believe this but they came 25 to a package!  Exactly the number I was looking for!!  I struggled with the numbers, wasn't sure if I wanted to stamp them, print them, hand write them.... so I headed to Michaels to see what their options were.  These numbers were perfect in size and on sale for half price too... I had black and brown stamp pads already so with tags and numbers I was ready to go.

A few days earlier I had hung my tags with Christmas ornament hooks to see about placement, for both the numbers and what I was going to add to them as days went by.  The tag size (2 in x 3 in) was perfect on my gate.

So on a sunny Thanksgiving morning, with no turkey to cook or pies to bake,  I got to stamping.

I chose black to really make the numbers stand out.  My first attempt showed I pressed a bit too hard... but then I decided I liked the imperfection and decided to go with it!

All 25 tags were left alone to let the ink dry.  You can see I really embraced the slightly imperfect look... and if you look closely I actually stamped my "8"s upside down!

Once dry I added all 25 tags to my garden gate using ornament hooks that I had on hand.

My first attempt was 3 rows but obviously 25 isn't divisible by 3 and I had a straggler tag... that led me to this option which I realized looked like an upside down tree.

So you probably can guess where this was going... yep, I flipped it around and it became a tree shape.  I chose to start with the "1" at the lower left and work my way to the top for the "25".  The little silver dish below holds the secret to this little advent calender...

It's full of little ornaments and other Christmas goodies... one per day to hang over the appropriate day's tag.  As you can see from my trial run... a bit of tweaking will be in order if I want cover up the numbers.

Another option would be to REMOVE an ornament to reveal the date/number underneath but I wanted to be able to enjoy all the little odds and ends that make this special to me... like my little angels that were my mom's... that I've never found a good spot for until now... so I plan to ADD to my calendar every day.

And fortunately I have this advent sort of "tree" to look at, since we've been experiencing a bit of a cold stretch here and I didn't get our "real" tree decorated before our front porch turned into a freezer!  Yes, those windows are completely frosted over... life in an old house you might say.

We did get out for the Thanksgiving weekend and were able to attend a tree lighting in the Seattle area.

With some of my favorite people...

Fortunately, Miss Bee didn't sleep through it all...  And it was quite cold, as you can probably guess by someone's bright little red nose!

Such a serious little face!

Hope you're all staying warm and cozy... counting down the days of December with family and friends,

linking up to


  1. Love your advent calendar.. so clever and unique.. your kids and Miss Bee are just beautiful.. and so are you! We went to the Pittock Mansion today.. it's all decorated for the holidays.. posting about it tomorrow. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. That is a perfect advent calendar.. I adore it! Thank you for sharing! Also love the sweet family pics.. you are Blessed! -Tammy

  3. What a wonderful advent calendar! And that sweet baby girl, how precious!


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