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.