Jo From Artsy Fartsy Mama kindly sent us this craft idea.
My daughter goes to a Steiner school and last festive season in an effort to avoid the commercialism of Christmas and find meaning in it, there was a lot of discussion and sharing of ideas. Much of the inspiration came from Denise McDonough who spent some time at a Steiner school in Scotland. Between us we came up with this ‘Advent Stick’.
As the child opens up a little package each day they move through the earthly natural kingdoms – earth, plant, animal and human until they discover something more ‘heavenly’ on Christmas Day (the tiny felt & bead baby in walnut shell pictured below). So rather than a chocolate each day – they find a little natural treasure – 6 items in each category.
Earth – stone, crystal, pebble, sand, charcoal, glass bead, ochre
Plant – lavender pillow, dried flowers, seeds, gumnuts, pods, bark, paper craft such as origami or a tiny notebook
Animal – shell, bone, feather, felt animal, walnut turtle, beeswax candle, goat hair (collected at the farm!), knitted chick
Human – tiny gingerbread men, wool angel, felt doll, peg doll, little letters, a sweet (if you choose)
These are just some suggestions and many of them make beautiful decorations for the tree. Last I wrapped them all in white tissue paper but this year I have different colours to differentiate between the 4 realms. You can then use some cotton string or raffia to tie off each parcel and tie it on to your stick (which could be collected from a special place/tree and kept from year to year). Alternating sides of the stick means as your child rips off a bundle there is still a tail of tissue paper to keep the stick looking attractive. I do this as a surprise for my children, but you could involve an older sibling in the process.