Thursday, November 5, 2009

first hint of the season.

I recognize it is ridiculous to judge the seasons based on what drinks Starbucks is serving, but having my first Gingerbread Latte of the season did make it feel like Christmas is just around the corner. I am in no way recommending you overlook Thanksgiving and the remainder of Fall, but some parts of Christmas do require you to think advent calendars!

While advent calendars are mainly reserved for children, I see no problem still enjoying the fun of counting down to Christmas as an adult. My mom and I take the advent calendar one step further. We buy each other 24 itty bitty gifts, wrap them all up, and exchange piles on December 1. For the next 24 days leading up to Christmas we each open up one present. It may seem a little excessive, but it is actually pretty easy to come up with 24 little presents without breaking the bank (especially if you shop at thrift stores and flea markets year round) and the time spent opening a gift together each evening is really special.

If you are ready to bring back to joys of an advent calendar this year, here are a few good options out there on Etsy.

Aren't the dolls on each pouch the sweetest? I also love how the traditional red and green is mixed in with teals and oranges and yellows.

pilosale, $76
This one reminds me of my childhood. We had a wall hanging with a little stuffed bear who traveled throughout the printed house in search of Christmas. Each day he moved to a new room. Ours was very bright and colorful, but this natural version would fit in perfectly with minimalistic decor.

jodii, $58
I love the primary colors used in this one as well. You could easily continue to use some of the pouches throughout the year for storage and organization.

Wouldn't it be fun to hide one of these bags each morning and your kids search for it? I think it would be a wonderful way to start each morning, especially if there was a little treat tucked inside each one!

If you are the crafty type and want to make one of your own, there are plenty of handmade supplies on Etsy to get you started.

Classic tags made famous by Ali Edwards who used them in her December Daily journal. A definite favorite.

halffullmartini, $3.50
I am a big fan of the kraft brown background and the variety of shapes.

ormolu, $4.50
A great deep red, and you could use the little blank space on the bottom to jot down a small special note about that day.

maythird, $4.50
Simple, but in the best way. Perfect if the rest of your design is a little more complicated.

Disappointed by the empty Mixed Paper Journals section in my shop and inspired by the upcoming holiday, I put together some Christmas Mixed Paper Journals. I have two completed so far, with a few more coming soon.

The journal on the right has already been spoken for, but the one of the left is available right here.

Update: Both journals are now gone. Thank you for your support! I have a few more journals in the making. If you would like to reserve one, feel free to email me at

After all of that Christmas, I feel like I need to surround myself with pumpkins and apple cider to soak up everything that is lovely about November before it's gone!


  1. I have always thought these advent calendars where kind of neat. I have thought about doing something like this for the eight days of Hanukkah.

  2. Hi Xen,
    I can hardly wait until December 1st.for the start of our "gift a day!" I just know you have some Very Cute things for me!!

    AKA MaMA

  3. really pretty selections! got me in the mood...along with knowing that gingerbread lattes are back @ Starbucks. :)

  4. Hi! I checked your etsy shop and the journal above wasn't listed--is it still available? I'd love it.

  5. OH MY GOODNESS! I had the exact same advent calendar growing up! We used to love moving the bear around to the different rooms!

  6. beautiful picks and I love your journals. :)

  7. It's nice of you to highlight my matryoshka advent calendar - thank you very much!

  8. Your website is really nice and this is a great inspiring article.