perseverance pays off!

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:

i will forget over the course of twelve months if i don't write down the christmas inventory!

so, anyway, to move this story along…this year, i knew i had to buy one advent calendar.

here is the advent calendar i got last year at write impressions for 50% off

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!

...and this was the last one in this design!

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…

i will take down all the pieces prior to december 1st and put up the proper number each day!

…that i very much enjoy using every year!


november thankfulness:

(for tuesday november 22): yesterday i was thankful that it is now less than one month to the shortest day of the year!

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  • Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco  On November 24, 2011 at 2:35 am

    I love advent calendars! Chocolate and a countdown to my favorite holiday? Yes please!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 24, 2011 at 5:42 am

      haha, yes – countdowns alone are fun, but add in chocolate and the fun definitely goes up a notch!

  • Lisa  On November 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    We had a homemade advent calendar—it was made of felt and had a big christmas tree on it (plain green). The bottom half was the calendar, with each number having a little pocket with a felt ornament in it…so we took turns—each day the person whose turn it was put the ornament for that date on the christmas tree…
    We also did the paper rings countdown…a chain made out of green and red construction paper loops hung around the doorway. Each day we could remove a link.
    It was extremely exciting, I’ll tell ya 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      yes! i like the idea of the paper chain! what a great visual for kids, too, to see the countdown. love the sounds of your family’s advent calendar. i bet it was super cute. and i like how you took turns! happy almost-thanksgiving to you, lisa!

  • Zo  On November 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Congratulations on finding your calendar! Jewish upbringing, so no advent calendars for me (just Hanukkah gelt). I can see why they’d be lots of fun though…the lindt one definitely appeals!
    I love that you leave notes for yourself about what you already have. I often forget that I have something.

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      i would love to learn more about jewish traditions as i know very little…i love how different cultures all have their own traditional celebrations. i learned to make the “for next year…” notes after i bought cards one year, forgetting i had bought a TON on sale the previous year! i like to stash a little…but not go overboard!

  • Stephanie  On November 23, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I used to have the chocolate ones, but not until we were a bit older. I always cheated and ate ahead. Haha! I’d love to have a wooden advent calendars with drawers and Christmas ornaments to add to the tree every day.

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

      oh, that is funny – let’s just say you were time traveling, shall we?! there are some really neat advent calendars out there – i love those wooden ones with drawer’s too. i’ve also seen some that are strung out, like on a line, that you can hang. and felt ones with pockets. it’d be cool to buy a new type every year and collect them!

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