Tag Archives: family traditions

Counting Down to Christmas in Style

My wife and I don’t spend too much on Christmas decorations since we’ve already inherited a ton of stuff from our families. One thing that neither of us had, however, was a real advent calendar that our kids could grow up with. We finally bit the bullet and invested in an extremely nice wooden one from Byers’ Choice (the “Christmas House” model).  The artwork is gorgeous and it has many compartments of varying size to conceal candy or other tiny treasures.

As a child, I inadvertently sabotaged my own Advent calendar tradition. The chocolates in those cheap cardboard calendars that my parents bought every year weren’t individually wrapped, so by mid-December, they too tasted like cheap cardboard. That’s all good if you actually like your chocolate to have notes of cotton and chalk while maintaining the texture of old sawdust, but I was a tad picky. In an effort to work the system, I adapted to the situation I was given by gorging myself on the entire calendar on the very first day it was presented to me…and that was the demise of yet another family tradition. My new calendar, however, has a failsafe – I actually control the contents! “Look kids, Snickers bars, hoorah!” Or, “What? You don’t want to brush your teeth tonight? That’s ok honey bear. Now, let’s see what’s behind door number four. Oh my, a sample size bar of wild orchid scented soap!”

Even though I’ve seen some really cool new advent calendars on the market (Lego has some sweet ones – why didn’t they make them when I was a kid?), I am quite happy with our one-time investment of a family keepsake, and I fully welcome the challenge of finding fun candy and gifts to fill it with. Although, it’s not too late to snatch up one of those Lego Star Wars Advent calendars all for myself.

I’d love to hear any advent calendar anecdotes of your own!