I just couldn’t resist when I saw all this talk about the Advent excitement! As is very obvious by the last couple posts, my little family has been very blessed to live near my parents and celebrate the Sabbath with them. My Mom is a bit of a superhero, and I am sure that if we didn’t ever do anything by ourselves at our house, my kids would still grow up loving Christmas and the Advent season. But just not doing anything at our house would be (to put it mildly) pretty dumb.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided to make an Advent calender. A friend of mine had told me that her mom would make a calender out of old cards, and the kids were on a rotation of days, so what was inside was specific to them. We thought this was a great idea, but when we started trying to get down to business, it started getting out of control, and a lot bigger!
The basic idea was that we wanted to put things in our Advent calender like “Get the Christmas tree today” or “Make Christmas cookies” or “Look under your pillow for a surprise.” The concern (I would think an obvious one for mothers) would be having your Advent calender contradict the spirit of the moment. I can easily see trying to persuade your kids, “Yes, I know the calender said we were going to get the Christmas tree today, but we might have to wait until Saturday” – and wouldn’t that make Christmas so fun for your kids!
So the solution we found was to make all the activities on cards, make envelopes for those that hang on the hooks for the days, and we put something in them about one minute before anyone opens it. We made sure to include lots of very low key activities – “Eat a candy cane off the tree” orÂ “Color a picture for Grandma,” so the Advent calender would not become a pressure cooker of holiday stress.
My husband took off with his jigsaw and came back with a huge (I am not kidding) star. We painted it silver, screwed twenty-five hooks onto it, and then finished up the job with oilcloth envelopes and pipe-cleaner (I know what you’re thinking, but I promise it is cute) details. The whole thing is topped off with a huge red bow. It really is a total hoot.
I am going to try to post a picture of this charmer for you all to laugh at as soon as my husband can bring it in from the garage. Hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving, and kick off the Advent season with a lot of out-of-control fun!