Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Countdown to Christmas: Advent Calendars

I always loved Advent calendars as a kid. I remember when my Mom brought this tree home from our Church Bazaar. My sister & I loved hanging the ornaments on the tree. She would do the odd days & I would do the even ones. It was {almost} as good as the candy advent calendars.
I took this picture yesterday. As you can see, it's not a crowd favorite with my kids.

Our elf is more of a tradition than a true advent calendar, but it is the first thing the kids look for when they get up in the morning. 
Ella even wrote him a note asking him a lot of questions about Santa & whether reindeer & snowmen really poop donut holes. The pesky elf has yet to respond.
My favorite advent calendar is our Christmas book countdown. 24 books wrapped (thanks Aunt Jessie) with a new book eagerly unwrapped each day. The kids were very excited to unwrap It's Christmas David. I've built my collection over several years - gifts & post-Christmas sales are the best!
This is our traditional advent calendar. Sometimes there is something in the pocket, but usually the kids have to ask me what the advent activity of the day is. Sometimes it's a gift (new slippers, new gloves, chapstick, gum, their completed autograph books from Disney) 
and sometimes its an activity (movies with Grandpa, farolito race, making cookies, etc.). The best is when the kids decide that something we already did was the advent activity. 
Greta "Mom, is the advent calendar ready?" 
Charlie "I think it was having Dad's work party here today." 
Ella "Yes, that was probably it."  
Our new tradition has been a hit - Lego Advent Calendar. This was the advent calendar surprise on December first. Each day, a little lego is built. While the kids are supposed to take turns, Charlie usually tries to wiggle his way into doing more than his fair share. 

I can't believe the big day is almost here. The fact that the twins are now adding every toy imaginable to their wish list. I finally realized that they do this every year and that I shouldn't try to capture some of this "wants."  I'm done with gift shopping. Now, it's the forty visits to the grocery store before Sunday!

**And if you are wondering about the no soliciting sign in the first picture, the sign was on our front door when we bought the house. I promptly took it down and then discovered why the former owners had it on the door. Did you know there are still traveling salesmen? And, missionaries that aren't twenty-something with name tags and uniforms can be a little scary when you are home alone (I thought they were neighbors). The sign went back out after some missionaries asked if I was the cleaning lady. Apparently my telecommuting wardrobe isn't very fancy.

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