as you know, i love me a goooood many christmas traditions! and one of them is ADVENT CALENDARS.
this particular love dates back to childhood. every year, the brother and i each had our own cardboard advent calendar. boy, did we love the month of december when every morning we would open the window of the day, before breakfast. the countdown was on as we anticipated december 24th – the date of the birth of baby jesus always had the biggest window of all. and revealing the hidden picture in that box meant that it was finally christmas [insert dance of joy and clapping and squealing, here!].
now: our family never, ever had the chocolate advent calendars. my parents did give us treats as kids, but chocolates for breakfast for a month was not the means by which we enjoyed sweets. and i can’t say that the brother and i ever wanted the chocolate advent calendars – the traditional cardboard ones were what we were used to and what we enjoyed.
fast forward to the year that little e was born. i decided that a nice aunti tradition to establish would be to give little e her own cardboard advent calendar. that first christmas, i was so excited, i do believe she had two calendars! and yes, two months old is an appropriate age at which to begin opening advent calendar windows.
every year since, i’ve had advent calendars at the ready for little e and then for cutie c, after she joined the family. what i like to do is purchase them during boxing week sales, and i put them aside for the year.
i’m not sure how this happened but two years ago, i bought three advent calendars. i gave two of them to little e and cutie c last christmas. [one was a super-extraordinary eric carle 3-d extravaganza!]. as per usual, i noted what i had on hand for this year’s christmas:
so, anyway, to move this story along…this year, i knew i had to buy one advent calendar.
do you know how hard it is to find JUST cardboard advent calendars, these days?? well, let me tell you!
over the past month, i have searched high and low in every grocery store, drug store, dollar store, card store, specialty store, and book store that i know of, both in waterloo and toronto, looking for a non-chocolate-y calendar. i have found tons of calendars that open to reveal a chocolate – they’re plentiful at all of the types of stores mentioned above (at every price range from $1.99 for no-name milk chocolate to over $10 for a lindt calendar).
yes, i know i could break with tradition and get a chocolate advent calendar. but i just can’t. it’s not what we had as children, and i also personally don’t agree with the chocolate-a-day sweet for the girls – if i was a parent, i wouldn’t go that route (if you as a parent do, i totally respect your position – every family enjoys different christmas practices).
so: sunday afternoon, i popped into words worth books because their shipment of calendars was due to arrive this past week, i had been told. and i found my calendar!
i almost did a song and dance right there in the children’s section.
now, the calendar was $8.95 which is an outrageous price for decorated cardboard. however! i have accumulated points through the store’s rewards/loyalty program, so i cashed some in (and still have some left over) -> free calendar!
yippee!! aunti will triumphantly present little e and baby c with their advent calendars on my wednesday, november 30th visit. i would love to find TWO calendars during boxing week sales this year so that next year, there is no advent calendar wild goose chase!
did you have an advent calendar, growing up? chocolates: yea or nay? i have my wooden one…
…that i very much enjoy using every year!
(for tuesday november 22): yesterday i was thankful that it is now less than one month to the shortest day of the year!