Counting down.

Growing up, Mom always made us individual advent calendars for the month of December. They were big sheets of posterboard marked off into a calendar grid with one square for each day of the month. Starting on December 1st, we each had a "job" to do, and once we'd completed the job for the day we were free to eat the piece of candy attached to that day.

The jobs might be actual household chores, like "put away laundry," or "dust the living room," or they might be fun Christmas-related activites like "read a Christmas story," or "wear red."

Mom always attached our favorite pieces of candy to the days with jobs she knew would require a bit of effort on our part. In order to get my coveted butterscotch, I'd inevitably have to "be nice to Elecia all day long."

Over at Elecia's last night I noticed Zayda's advent calendar, hanging on her bedroom door. The same posterboard, with the same grid, familiar sounding "jobs," and pieces of candy taped to each day. I love that Elecia is continiuing this tradition. I've thought about the idea of advent several times over the years, mostly in nostalgia for that particular childhood activity, but also considering what I could do to mark some sort of countdown for the season.

Some people have advent boxes that they open each day, with an activity or a piece of candy in them; some people use little decorative houses with a window or a door to open each day. There are all kinds of crafty solutions for advent.

My December daily album has become my advent, in a way, but I still want to do something else to mark the season for all of us: me, Eli, and Eliot, especially. I don't know whether I'll revive the posterboard or come up with something else, but in any case, I can't wait to celebrate advent again and try to live the wonder of the Christmas season all month long.



Adriane said...

I got an idea from family fun magazine that I have implemented with the kids this year and so far they love it and it is really festive looking as well. We took a long red ribbon and hung it up between 2 door frames, and hung 25 Christmasey looking socks from it with clothespins. Inside each sock is a slip of paper with our daily activity written on it. Yesterday was watch Polar Express together as a family, today is go to Misty and Andy's Christmas party together.

Elecia said...

I do hope that the advent calender ends up being a way for Z to count down until christmas. However for me it is more about tradition and the wonderful memories I get from it. The first year I was with Gary, I made calenders for the girls, but they ate the candy and didnt even care about what it said to do(even stuff like wear red today, how hard is that?) I was somehow really crushed by that. So i made one for Z last year and she didnt really understand, but this year she loves it. She cant wait to do her chore, especially if it is something we do together. So for me it is more about forming that great bond with her that we have with Mom and I suppose Christmas is alot about bring people together!