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2011 Advent Stick instructions

Your advent stick is a beautiful way for your family to celebrate the lead up to Christmas. Each day you open one parcel to find a tiny treasure inside. You can let the child whose turn it is to open the parcel keep the treasure or you can put it onto a special table or collection point to build up your advent display.  The idea is that you have ONE per family and that the children take turns in opening the parcels (after an adult removes them from the stick).

You might like to open the parcel at a set time every day, perhaps with a ritual or song leading up to the opening of the parcel.

Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, so in 2011 begin opening your advent stick parcels on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH.

Your stick consists of 28 parcels (one each day from November 27 until December 24).  You begin opening them from the red end and move systematically to the pink end.  Make sure you are opening them in order as it is easy to skip one.  They are tied on in order so if you opened a parcel on the left hand side one day the next day’s parcel should be on the right hand side.

Some of your treasures are very fragile so don’t let your children feel them to try to guess what is inside the parcel.  It is best to hang your advent stick somewhere where your children can see but not touch it.  It is important that an adult removes the parcel from the stick then passes it to the child whose turn it is to open the parcel.  Do not let the children remove the parcel from the stick.  Whether you cut or tear the parcel from the stick, please be careful not to break the surprise inside.  Some surprises may inadvertently have been tied under the string that holds the parcel to the stick.  If this happens you must very carefully remove it.  Do not cut the string.

To open the parcels:

  • You will find that each parcel of tissue paper is tied onto the stick at the centre with an open end at one side and a wrapped parcel at the other side.
  • The idea is to remove the parcel end and leave the open end for decoration. 
  • The gold string that ties the parcels to the stick is one continuous piece so if you cut or untie it all of your parcels will fall off. 
  • To remove the parcel each day either cut or tear the parcel close to the string that holds the parcel to the stick.  If you choose to cut, please be careful to cut close to the centre as some of the items will be close to the centre and you do not want to cut them.  Tearing is best if the paper will allow, otherwise you can begin with a cut then tear the rest. Be careful not to damage the surprise inside as some are quite fragile.
  • Hand the removed parcel to the child to unwrap with wonder.  They might then place the item on your family’s nature or advent table.

In the first week you will find that the items you discover inside the parcels represent the earth so they are made from materials we get from the earth, such as glass, metal, and clay.  In the second week you will find items that represent the plant world, such as seed pods, flowers, and bark.  In the third week you will discover representations of animals or items made from materials we get from animals, such as bees wax and fleece.  In the final week you will find representations of humans.

Here is a list of the contents of the parcels from 2010 as a guide:

  1. Glass Wishing Stone
  2. Chip of Turquoise Bead
  3. Metal Bell
  4. Coloured Sand (maybe make a sand picture)
  5. Glass Marble
  6. Clay Bead (lovingly made by 9 year old)
  7. Pet Rock (make it a little match box bed!)
  8. Seed Bunch
  9. Pink Wooden Ball
  10. Ranunculi Bulb (plant Feb-Jun, 4-5cm deep, claws down, water weekly ‘til shoots appear flowers Aug-Oct)
  11. Coconut Button                                   
  12. Sunflower Seeds in Shells (can eat in or out of shell)
  13. Clove (pop it into your drink of water, wait a bit then drink)
  14. Mini Wooden Peg
  15. Origami Peacock
  16. Walnut Turtle
  17. Tiny Knitted Sheep
  18. Feather
  19. Shell
  20. Twistie Worm
  21. Beeswax Candle (smells great!)
  22. Cloaked Bead Person
  23. Paper People Holding Hands
  24. Flower Petal Girl
  25. Felt Finger Puppet
  26. Bead Baby     
  27. Satin Angel  

For enquiries or feedback (or to book an advent stick or string for next year) contact pregnancydesigns (at) yahoo.com