I have always been fascinated by advent calendars. I remember when I was young, the little doors would open to show me little pictures of presents, elves and santa. Time passed and you could get advent calendars with little pieces of chocolate embedded in them. Well I tell you, advent calendars are now big business. They come in all shapes and sizes. With drawers, without drawers, wood, felt, resin, and the list goes on.
When my daughters were quite young, I found a beautiful advent calendar with the little drawers in it. I came up with the idea of filling it with little gifts and treats for the 25 days…boy, it cost a fortune. The next year I decided to change it up a bit. I took a look at all the ‘normal’ December activites that we had and filled in the month accordingly (when I opened December 10, it might say go to Ashley’s Christmas Program). With any empty days that I had left, I added different outings, a couple of treats and little gifts. Three years ago, when my grandmother passed away, we added making glass candy to the calendar in honor of her. A reminder not to wait to pay tribute to certain traditions.
As the girls have gotten older I have made even more modifications. On one day last year, I handed each girl 5 candy canes and told them to be a Secret Santa for someone at school that they thought would really benefit from it. When they got home, one daughter told me she gave one to a teacher who had a death in the family, another gave one to the really mean boy in her class (she actually had the principal open his locker so she could leave it inside), another went to a little girl who struggles with making friends. It really made me proud that they took the task to heart.
This is my 3 daughters’ favorite tradition. If I gave them the option between keeping Christmas Day or the Calendar, the Calendar would win hands down. Besides the main calendar, I have made them each a unique version of their own. I jokingly say that when I pass, they won’t be fighting over my wedding ring, they will be fighting over who get’s “Mom’s Calendar”. Actually, I can see it rotating through their houses and each taking a turn with it on their mantles….