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12/21/2009

Absence of the Advent Calendar

Nativity Advent

December is flying by!  Friday is Christmas and I still have to review the list one final time, get the presents wrapped and purchase the last-minute stocking stuffers.  I feel like the month has gone too fast.

I blame it on the absence of the Advent Calendar.

Our kids receive an advent calendar each year. You know the kind.  You open the day, pull out the chocolate and anticipate the next day to eat the tiny piece of chocolate.  Or, if you are like our children, you eat two weeks in one day.  Those boys of ours, they are so *proactive* and all. 

This year we didn't have advent calendars to continue this tradition.  By the time I went to make the purchase, I could not find a nary calendar in sight. Well, not at Target at least.  I did look online but contemplated the shipping with when they would receive them and thought it wouldn't be worth it. They would be eating two weeks in one day. Well, wait...that may have actually been fine for them.

In years past, I truly enjoyed seeing the boys wake up each morning studying their calendars to find the right day.  Or, when they find the correct day, looking at me all surprised when they opened the window to find the chocolate missing.  Then they try to blame the missing chocolate on the other one.  I loved seeing their anticipation as all of the windows were opening and they knew that Christmas was just days away.

Our boys have always understood the meaning for the advent calendar.  Even without an understanding, most children wouldn't question the offer to enjoy chocolate before school.  They always thanked Jesus for getting to enjoy that rush of sugar so bright and early!  I'm sure their teachers prayed for peace with a classroom full of kids all hyped up on sugar too! 

Yes, we missed all of that this year.

The boys asked about the calendars a few times but it didn't seem like a huge deal to them.  As the days went along, it became more apparent that I needed the advent calendar as much as they did but for different reasons.  This Christmas, I have felt behind on the extra duties the season brings.  I realized the advent calendar always kept me focused and on task. I don't know if the act of opening the next window reminded me about the time I had left to get it all done or what.  But, seeing the calendar helped me focus more on the true meaning of Christmas as we celebrate with our boys. 

Yes, I have missed that this year.

I know, I know, it's just a calendar with some candy. For us, it has always been about celebrating Christmas, but it has become more over the  years.  This is obviously apparent with the crazy schedule and lack of the memories this year.  As I started sharing this, it got me thinking. I'm not going to let my kids go a year without this tradition. I decided to go to one final store and check. If I failed, then we would just make a homemade one despite my crafting shortcomings.

I found one!

Yes, it may not have been until the 17th, but I have it. I figured it's better late than never.  I actually purchased a family advent calendar.  So, everyone in the family can enjoy a chocolate - not just the kids.  Why should the boys get all the chocolate anyway?  The wise men shared their goods - I'm sure Jesus would want the same.  He knows how women like chocolate.

This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post. When not searching the universe for advent calendars, Andrea Deckard can be found blogging about strategies to save at Mommy Snacks.net.

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