Although I had plenty of energy for Halloween creativity, I haven’t been able to muster the same enthusiasm for Christmas crafts. I did make one tweak that I hope will solve our book advent issue finally.

For the past three years we have done a Christmas advent. I posted about it last year and the year before. I love the tradition, but we hadn’t yet landed on the best system. The first year I just taped numbers to the books. It was ok, but I don’t really want the books covered with tape. The next year I wrapped each gift in butcher paper to teach Ellis how to open presents. This method took a lot of time and produced more waste than I want. Last year I made tags that Calvin delighted in tearing off.

I decided I wanted reusable “wrapping” so the books each night are still a surprise. I found some very forgiving red crushed velvet stretchy fabric at the thrift store (for $2!).

This week I have been preoccupied with other things and I realized on the last day of November at 3pm that I would only have one night to turn out this entire envelope project.

You see, Adam’s Grandmother died this week. She went peacefully in her sleep at the age of 97. She was the matriarch of this large family. Calvin is the youngest of 27 great-grandkids. There is even 1 great-great grandchild! She created a big beautiful family and was the sweetest woman.


I was happy for the chance to sit down with her sewing machine and make something for my family. I sewed 30 sleeves in the hours before December officially began (we have a few extra books for swapping out).


I also needed a way to tag the order and fasten the envelopes. I spray painted some old buttons gold and they should do the trick for years to come.


I am looking forward to next year when I can just pull out the books and pop them in their sleeves instead of figuring out a new way to do it again.


For now let the countdown to Christmas begin!