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National Mitten Tree Day

Updated on July 28, 2015

For the Love of Mittens

National Mitten Tree Day is celebrated on December 6th. The history of Mitten Tree Day seems to be a mystery, however, many think it was started by a school teacher based on the book, The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen.

In the book, a lady knits mittens for children who have none. She hangs the mittens on an evergreen tree for any child who needs them. Unfortunately she runs out of yarn. But one morning a basket full of yarn appears on her doorstep. She happily knits mittens for all the children.

In celebration of National Mitten Tree Day, many organizations knit mittens to give away. You'll find many a lobby with a tree full of mittens. If you are crafty, you may wish to participate by creating your own mittens to give away. Don't know how to knit, keep reading for information on how.

It is also a day when school teachers create mitten crafts. Whether they are made from paper, or cloth, children enjoy creating beautiful mittens. The craft is often accompanied by the teacher reading the book mentioned above.


Never heard of knitatation? Studies have been done at the Mind/Body Institute at Harvard regarding knitting and meditation. It seems that the repetitive actions of knitting are similar to meditation. In fact, knitting is encouraged in therapy groups to help reduce stress levels. Other benefits of knitting include:

  • Social – along with being relaxing, knitting is finding its way into social groups. Check out Meetup for a knitting group near you. Not only is it fun to get to know other people, you will get your projects done!
  • Simple to Learn – no special equipment or college degree required. Check out below for links to books, videos and YouTube for lessons.
  • Creative – get your creative juices going as you find new patterns, colors or yarns to make your very own designs.
  • Educational – knitting actually involved math skills. You need to count rows and stitches and you need to measure what you’ve knit. Knitting is also great for improving hand-eye coordination and small motor skills. Great fitness for the brain.
  • Inexpensive – Once you get a few basics, the only things to purchase is the yarn. Shop around for great deals.
  • Convenient – You can take your knitting anywhere you go. Throw your project in a bag and you can pull it out while visiting friends, at the doctor’s office waiting room, on a plane or bus.
  • Great for Gifts – Everyone appreciates a hand-made gift. A great scarf or pair of mittens makes a perfect gift for someone who has everything.

How to Knit

Mittens or Gloves?

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Mittens for Charity

Just like in the book The Mitten Tree, knitting mittens is a great project for charity. My sister knits mittens and caps for a local shelter, I knit for cancer survivors. If you love to knit, consider giving to a great cause. Check out this article at Knit ‘n Style with a list of charitable organizations you can donate to.

What to do on National Mitten Tree Day

What else? Make a pair of mittens. Or, you could:

  • Play a game of mix and match. Gather everybody’s mittens. Throw them all in a pile. See who can match them all up the fastest.

  • Play a game of Memory with mittens.

  • Drink some tea and eat goodies while you knit.

  • Watch a great movie while you knit.

  • Go shopping for cute mittens.

  • Read the book The Mitten Tree.

  • Play find your partner. This is great game for an ice-breaker. Have enough pairs of mittens for half the people attending the party. (if you have twenty people, you need ten pairs of mittens). Hand each person one mitten. At a set time, everyone must find the match to their mitten.

Have You Ever Knit a Pair of Mittens?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I only knit squares as a child and that's as far as I got but would watch Mom knit socks and mittens. I'd say that National Mitten Tree Day is a wonderful way of celebrating giving of yourself for others. Sweetly done and congratulations on being selected for the Silly Celebrations December Monster Board for this meaningful way of giving.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      No I've never knitted mittens, but then I haven't tried either.

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 4 years ago

      I've never quite got the hang of knitting the thumb, but getting pretty good at knitting those little newborn-baby mittens that don't have thumbs. :-) What a wonderful idea, National Mitten Tree Day!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      No but I used to watch my grandmother do it. Great lens.