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Our little rustic split-log advent tree

Are you ready to be moved? To be transported by my husband’s lilting, flowing poetry, to a place you never knew existed?

As I was sitting down to write this post, Andy offered to write it for me. This is how he started the post:

The thing about Christmas is, you’re sitting there and it’s looking in your eyes and you’re looking back at it, and you feel like you’re the only one in the world and the only thing that matters is the love that you shared. All you can do is just reach out and grab it by the balls. The Christmas balls.

I’ll leave you alone for a moment to collect your emotions.

That was all he had to say to you, so I decided I’d take over from here. Not that I have any idea how to follow that. Or how it even relates to the little split-log advent tree we created over the weekend.
DIY advent tree from split logs!

So I’m just going to dive into telling you about the tree! It’s the only way.

We just whipped it up in an afternoon from some spare firewood to use for our new little family advent tradition, which I’ll tell you about in a sec. But first check this guy out! He has 24 little ornament hooks – one for each day of advent.
Live edge advent tree with ornament hooks!And, oh yeah, an actual working lightbulb coming from the top. I like the little bulb situation.
Lightbulb on top of a DIY advent tree made of firewood!
My family never did anything for advent when I was a kid, so I actually didn’t even know what it was until a couple years ago. I love the idea of doing something every day starting on December 1 to be thinking about and preparing for Christmas, so we started our own little advent family tradition last year.

We’re doing a Jesse Tree, which was also new to me but I love it. Every day of December, you read a short section of the Bible that weaves the back story to Jesus’ birth, showing how His birth was foretold and then came to be, and the kiddos get to put up an ornament symbolizing that story onto a tree of some kind. Last year we just used this packet, which has everything you need to do a Jesse tree for advent. We printed out the ornaments onto plain computer paper and let Weston tape them onto a giant paper tree.

It was clearly time to step up our game.

We laid out these logs on the driveway til we found an arrangement we liked, then Andy cut the ends at an angle with the miter saw, and we just screwed a scrap board into the back to hold them together. Quick and easy!
Building a DIY split-log advent tree
If you want to build one of these, you could add a lightbulb in the top like we did, or you could drill a hole and plant something in it – I think that’d be pretty sweet – or you could drill a deep hole and stick a pocket-sized flashlight in it. Or just top it with a pretty little ribbon or leave it as-is!

If you want to use a bulb, here’s what you’ll need:

Materials for the bulb:

  • LED bulb (Make sure you use LED so it doesn’t get hot like an incandescent bulb would.)
  • Lamp kit. This one is perfect. (affiliate link) We didn’t use a kit because we had random lamp parts on hand, but this kit will make it quick and easy for you.
  • Epoxy glue

Drill a hole in the top log with a 1.5″ bit, then cover the socket in epoxy glue and stick it in the hole. We used epoxy glue and hot glue. The hot glue just gooed around the socket to hold it in place while the epoxy glue dried. We were worried that hot glue alone might melt when the bulb was lit, so we used both.
Drilling a hole to put a lightbulb in a log for an advent calendar
If you want, you can screw some scrap wood on the back so the bulb doesn’t lean against the wall.
That’s all there is to it!
How to make an advent tree from logs
You can screw some eyehooks into the logs if you want to hang ornaments on it.

This is such an easy, inexpensive project! I love the working bulb on top. Such a sweet little decoration!

And now we’re all set for advent to start in just a couple weeks, when we’ll also begin grabbing Christmas by the (ornament) balls.

Are you constantly amazed at how weird this family is? (Me too, guys. Me too.) Do you do anything for advent? What projects did you knock out this weekend?

Let's connect


  1. This is so cute, Kelly! I love the rustic look along with the working lightbulb! Awesome idea 🙂

  2. so cute and i love the fur! apple bottom jeans, advent trees with the fur…… shorty got low low low low….

  3. I admit that I laughed out loud at your husband’s holiday soliloquy. He needs to write Christmas cards. 🙂

  4. What a GREAT idea! I love this “Tree”! Maybe on my porch? Now I wish my boys were little again so I could start a tradition of our own. Kelly, you must laugh allllll the time with Andy! I think you should let Andy write your post on his birthday, and then you can come in at the end if you’re not laughing too hard. Can’t wait for your next one 😀

  5. Cute! I especially like that that lightbulb filament kind of looks like a little angel… Although maybe my Christmas imagination is just on overdrive….

  6. Oh. my. goodness. Your husband just has a certain way with words doesn’t he? Was he that eloquent when he proposed to you?
    This little tree is super cute! I love this idea…we have some spare logs outside, I wonder if I could convince my husband to make a project like this. If not, can I borrow your husband to come up with some witty reason why we should make this project? 🙂

  7. Aghhahahahhh, Christmas balls! Love the tree too but that totally cracked me up!

  8. So I am pinning this, I love it, maybe even turned inside out. But I refuse to touch the balls comment since most of what goes through my mind makes me fit in if your family is weird.

  9. My husband and I laughed out loud at the ‘poetry’! So funny!

  10. I love the rustic look! And the tea-through-the nose poetry by your husband!

  11. I was laughing so hard I didn’t catch must beyond the Christmas ball grab. Hysterical.

  12. This is REALLY cool. I love that it looks great and the working light just plain takes it up a notch.

  13. Your man is wise beyond his years. And eloquent, to boot.

  14. Really, really cute, Kelly! You and Andy must be a riot to together. Some day I would like to see this. Maybe if you tire of blogging you could grab life by the balls and hit the road as a two-person show 😉

  15. Now I want to make an advent tree. Yours is awesome looking but won’t work in our apartment so I have another idea. I love things that help bring us back to the meaning of Christmas while still having the fun decorations!

  16. Love your advent tree! I have always had an advent calendar of some sort and so it’s a pretty important tradition in our house. 🙂 We’ve had ones that follow the Christmas story, but I love the idea of adding scripture.

  17. This post and your willingness to go there to the realm of Christmas balls is reason #4028 why I love you, Kelly, and your View Along the Way.

    ROLLING with laughter over here. Wishing you a happy November, bestie!

  18. you should watch out that you don’t lose your blog writing job to Andy ;). Love the light bulb on top!

  19. i love this little tree! it’s adorable. also, andy’s write-up is classic. i laughed so hard.

  20. I didn’t know what an advent calendar was either until my son was born and we started a tradition with a little tree thing that my mother-in-law bought us when he was a toddler. We still have it and it’s sentimental to me now. You’ll use this for years! Love the jesse tree concept, wish I had known about it when Jake was young!
    Christmas balls poem=priceless. I can’t help but be entertained and laugh when I come over and visit you here. You should make that an annual tradition to read Andy’s poem aloud, maybe as a prelude to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. 😉

  21. I’m still laughing hard over grabbing it by the Christmas Balls… hahahaha.

  22. Christmas balls ha!ha! still laughing here! 🙂 I should have my hubby help out write a post one of these days (nah! I don’t think it will happen anytime soon)
    your advent tree is so pretty; love the fur Kelly (nice touch) 🙂

  23. Ahahaha, ballssss.

    Yeah, so this weekend I decided we (I) needed pinecones to do pinteresty winter crafts with. So we took the kids to the park. They each had a reusable bag to collect pinecones with, which they hung around their necks like feed bags. And they are tacky, phonebook reusable bags. So my kids are clomping around like horses with “Dex” printed on their feed bags. Anddd we started on the wrong side of the park, where all the pinecones looked like turds. An hour later we found the right kind, five minutes before the kids declared starvation and the urgent need for a bathroom.

  24. Very cool idea. I am seeing all kinds of advent calender ish projects around the blogosphere and really want to make one.

  25. Lololololololol! My husband would have totally written something like that! I usually let my kids unwrap a little something each day leading up to Christmas, like dollar store goodies. For my youngest, last year I wrapped a few of his favorite little toys (he was only two) and he was so excited to see them when he unwrapped them! Might not be able to get away with that this year 🙂

  26. Lol! I forget to tell you how cute your tree was! Love that it even lights up 🙂

  27. Great project, Kelly! We pinned it on our Home Depot Holiday Crafts, Ideas, and Inspiration Board!

  28. This is adorable, love the rustic look and the bulb on top is such a nice touch. Making a Jesse tree is on my list too!

  29. This is adorable and of course right up my alley! I had been wanting to make one similar to this with some small scrap wood but I’m really liking your spin on this! Oh how my husband will be thrilled I found ANOTHER “honey-do” for him on your site! I’m always like “see… look what he made for his wife!” Haha! Love it! 🙂

  30. Ahahahaha! That Andy should be working for Hallmark. Well done for grabbing Christmas by the proverbial balls and coming up with such a cute advent tree! Love it all! xxx

  31. I’m so glad you guys grabbed Christmas by the balls this year. That’s going to have me smiling all day! XO!

  32. Very nice! The lightbulb is definitely the icing on the advent calendar cake. The only advent calendar we’d sometimes do during my childhood was the chocolate ones you bought at the store for like $2. And the chocolate wasn’t that good. But that’s probably because it was a $2 advent calendar.

    P.S. Whenever I hear “split log” I think of this:–4Pqus
    Be sure to share it with Andy. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it too.

  33. It’s adorable! And your husband is awesome.

  34. You are so crafty!! I love it…and the working light! 😉 How very cool and unique Kelly!


  35. I can’t decide what I love more the tree or Andy’s musing about the tree. Both are just so great.


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