Warm hands, warm heart
The Mitten Tree, a children’s book written by author Candace Christiansen, is a sweet story about an elderly woman on a yarny mission of mercy. Seeing a little boy at a bus stop across the street who can’t join his friends playing in the snow because he doesn’t have mittens, she knits up a pair overnight and hangs them on a tree by the bus stop for him to find the next morning. The old woman continues to anonymously knit mittens and hang them on the tree in pairs for the children to find, until eventually she runs out of yarn. The next morning she wakes up to find a basket of yarn on her front porch, allowing her to continue to keep little hands warm and little hearts happy all winter long.
In celebration of this sweet story of kindness and warmth, Mitten Tree Day was created. Celebrated on December 6, it presents the perfect opportunity to spread a little pre-holiday goodwill right in your own community.
How can you celebrate Mitten Tree Day? Why not organize a mitten drive in your community, office, building or school? Post flyers asking participants to make or purchase at least one pair of mittens or gloves to donate by December 6. If possible, put up an artificial tree upon which donors can hang their mittens (just like in the story), or set up a large box or basket where donated mittens can be dropped off. Make sure to check your tree, box or basket a few times a day to collect the mittens that have been donated and keep them safe.
It’s a nice idea to let people know where you’ll be donating the mittens, and to post a flyer of thanks with the final mitten tally included so everyone knows how successful the mitten drive was. Consider taking the donated items to a women’s shelter, a local Children’s Aid Society, The Salvation Army, or a nearby place of worship.
If you’re collecting mittens at a school, you might also consider speaking with the principal about making sure some of them are given to children within the school community who may be in need of a warm pair.
If you can’t organize a drive, you can still make or purchase a few pairs of mittens and donate them to the charity or organization of your choice.
You might also consider purchasing a copy of The Mitten Tree and reading it with your children or grandchildren, then donating it to a local library or your child’s school so more people can read about this simple and inspiring way one person spread kindness to the people in her community.
If you’re planning to make mittens, check out this pattern for So-Simple Knitted Mittens featured on the Better Homes and Gardens website, or this beginner’s Mittens For All crochet pattern from Red Heart Yarns.
If you’re new to knitting or crochet, visit The Craft Yarn Council’s Learning Center for instruction and information on how to read patterns, helpful resources, and a top 10 yarn Q & A.
410470 CAN/US (04/15)