Thursday, January 29, 2009

The month of December

When I was growing up, my next-door neighbors; the MacNamee's, had an Advent Calendar. Of course, theirs was handmade by their mother Melody, as were her jams, fruit leathers, and children's Halloween costumes. Oooh, was I envious! To live in a house with traditions like that!

So, I got this one a few years ago:

We started the tradition of putting activities inside the pockets, along side a tiny candy. I usually sit down with a calendar the month before, and plot it out.

The skiing or sledding activities always find their way in to a weekend pocket.
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas movie party and make snowflakes activities always happen on a weekday when Gavin is in Boston.
As Mondays can be hectic, that is the day we make a snowman, or a snowfort.
The make cookies and deliver them to neighbors usually happen close to Christmas.
We try to include service activities. This year we delivered gift bags to down & out shut-in's in Salt Lake (who ended up being not so down-&-out, living in the Penthouse units, and not so "shut-in", driving themselves around town. But they loved the kids, and didn't get offended by our sanitary items, socks, and cookies that we brought over as per instructions from the Relief Society President of the local LDS ward!)

So, back to the calendar: Other activities that have become traditions for us are

(Here Dalton and Shelby enjoy the arcades at the Bowling Alley)
making Christmas ornaments, and
letting the kids each pick out a new Christmas ornament,
(which makes for a very "eclectic" tree!)

picking out our live tree at the local tree farm
(where the kids snack on peanuts, play in the rows of trees and warm themselves in front of the fire)

as well as Seeing the Live Nativity in our neighborhood, where each year a bunch of religious and non-religious groups come together to host this annual spectacle. Live camels and donkeys, people in period dress, a LIVE baby Jesus, dates and unleavened bread, a live is pretty remarkable.

All of these traditions make the month of December special, so the fun isn't over in just one day. Opening up a pocket in the Advent Calendar is the first thing the kids ask to do when they wake up in the morning. I think that there is comfort in knowing that no matter how gloomy the day, how cold the weather, how many gazillion days until you get to open your Christmas presents, that NO MATTER WHAT, ONE special thing will happen every day!

1 comment:

Erin Vorkink said...

Cute ideas! Thanks for sharing.