Admittedly, this advent display for Rylie looks a little overblown and superfluous, I'm sure. As Ryan likes to point out, "Advent sure looks fun." But, I can explain. I'm inspired by all of the creative ideas that people do for advent calendars or vessels: this and this and this come to mind. I want to start the advent tradition for Rylie, but I don't want to give her small tokens or sweets just yet. She is still a baby and small things are always lost, not to mention, not so easily digested when they inevitably end up in her mouth. I love the idea of filling each day with a different activity or holiday outing, but feel she is still a bit young for that as well. Really, for her, it is all about sharpening up those fine motor skills and ripping paper off boxes. I also did not want to fill the house with more stuff. I've been trying to be very mindful of our stuff accumulation and being completely intentional about what surrounds us in our home. So, I was milling this all around in my head, sifting it through, not sure if I was committed to doing advent this year or not.
One bright Saturday morning, I went to a mega-super-100-family garage sale fundraiser called Garage Palooza. With Rylie at home with daddy, I was able to roll up my sleeves and hunt for bargains. I ended up leaving with lots of clothes, shoes, toys and books for Rylie. I was contemplating whether I should just add these items to the mix or if I should save some of it for Christmas, when it dawned on me. This bounty could be the perfect solution for advent gifts. So here we are. I had seen this, oh how I would love to tie all of those packages end to end with string and hang them from the ceiling. Can you imagine what fun that would be to cut a new package off everyday until Christmas? But I thought that a string of presents hanging from the ceiling might be cumbersome for our limited space and I thought Rylie would be attracted to it far more often than would be convenient. We still have to eat, bathe and sleep around here, now don't we?
I wrapped them all up and turned them into a fun display on our shelving console. It works with the overall Christmas vibe we have going on and I like all of the colors and tags. Very festive. Advent, does indeed look fun. Rylie is loving it too and I have on more than one occasion glimpsed her using her drum as a stool so that she could reach those presents. I hope she can hold out for the whole month, because it is kind of thrilling to wake to a new present each day.
The only new purchases I made for this was a few ornaments for the tree. So, a lot of ceremony and fuss at very little cost. As Rylie grows, we will likely go down a more traditional route with small tokens: cookies, an eraser, an ice-skating afternoon, but until then I am totally digging the advent bonanza around here.