Welcome to my stop on the 2011 Virtual Advent Tour

I'm taking part in this year's Virtual Advent Tour, a community sharing of holiday goodness-es of various kinds, including traditions. So today I'm sharing one of the things I do every December that makes me wonder if I am in fact sane.

My house is generally rather full of projects and stacks of things and little clusters of disaster, but this time of year even more so than usual. For five years now, the boys and I have been assembling holiday mugs and baskets, to sell as a library fundraiser. So this is what the upstairs hall looks like:

And here are some of the finished products:

The mugs sell for $5, the baskets for $10, and the profit margin is pitifully small....we'll maybe raise $100, if we're lucky. But we don't do much holiday decorating, since we spend the Christmas at my mother's, so it's nice to have something festive to do, and it's nice to know we are doing it to help our dear library!

I suggested not doing it this year, but my older son in particular was appalled by the thought of losing such an important tradition. They both help--gathering pine cones out in the wild, to fill the baskets with, and filling the mugs with candy (most of which is carefully chosen varieties they don't like).

(This year someone donated about 30 soy candles that smell of apple pie. Strongly of apple pie. Horribly so, even through their packaging. I had to zip them in a plastic blanket bag and stick it in the clothes hamper, removing each one as needed as quickly as possible. Mess is one thing, but I draw the line at smells....)

So here we are again, surrendering part of the house to chaos for a good cause! I think, as soon as I have used up all the plastic mug bags I have on hand, I'll call it quits though--I hate to add to the world's trash burden. I am wondering how my husband would feel if I went into African violet breeding....they would make holiday fundraising items, if attractively potted. Any other ideas for earth friendly holiday items we could whip up at home would be much appreciated!

Here are today's other stops:

Amy @ Amy Reads



  1. What a fab tradition, and one that your kids obviously appreciate too!

    Thanks so much for taking time to participate in the advent tour!

  2. This is really awesome--teaching kids to "give something back," helping out a local library (an idea that I ALWAYS support!). Very cool!
    The Beauty of Eclecticism

  3. What a lovely thing to do! Happy Holidays!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd oUt

  4. That's a great tradition! It's so cool that your sons are so attached to it too! Happy Holidays!

  5. I think that's a great tradition! I'm with you on smells: I can't stand ones that are too strong. Happy holidays!

  6. Wow, that is such a fantastic tradition!! I can see the smell issue though, ick!

  7. Great tradition! And I love that your son really wanted to continue with it. I know my parents sometimes thought they were forcing us to do things we did as kids when my sister and I were older and were happy to discover that we weren't feeling forced. To us this was just the way Christmas time should be. It was part of what made us US.

    Hopefully your house will smell less like scented apple pie when those baskets are gone. ;)

  8. I think it's great that it means so much to your boys. Sounds like you have some great kids!

  9. Looks like a great tradition! And for a good cause, too. It is great that your children join in for the fun, too. :)

    Thanks for joining in for the advent tour this year!

  10. What a terrific way to give back and teach your children a very valuable lesson about the Christmas season. Growing up, my family would always bake cookies and visit people in the nursing home. This is a memory that I treasure, just as your kids will treasure your annual fundraiser. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I really like that it's a library fundraiser, that it involves your children, and that they wanted you to keep doing it. This is a lovely post, for a good cause. Thank you for sharing it!

    I also love your bookshelves upstairs! I dream of having some like that too in my house!

    Have a very happy holiday season, Charlotte.

  12. What a great tradition for a great cause!

  13. I think it is neat you do this to help out your library and participate in something with your family like this during the holiday season! I am sure it is enjoyed by all!


  14. Oh, you made me laugh so much at "So today I'm sharing one of the things I do every December that makes me wonder if I am in fact sane."

    What a wonderful cause to give up saneness toward though!

  15. What a great tradition! I like how it brings some holiday decor into your home even though you don't decorate. I am also away from home for Christmas this year and am missing a little holiday decor - maybe I will follow your lead and take out a few decorations even though I am not doing a tree.

  16. I think that's a great tradition - too bad about the stinky candles :D

    It was great sharing the day with you!

  17. How can I buy a mug?
    I am interested in the stinky candles too..lolz..As a pet owner stinky candles are good by the litterbox..lolz!
    I love your bookcase! I cant wait to build mine.
    New follower. I think you have an awesum tradition.
    Bless you & your family.
    Advent Tour Day 11

  18. If you live in RI, you are absolutly welcome to come to my library to buy a mug...otherwise, almost certainly it wouldn't be worth the shipping.

    And you would be welcome to stop buy to pick up about 22 stinky candles too!


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