Monday, December 1, 2008

On Eating the Advent Calendar

I scampered out in the snow this morning to collect the Advent calendars my daughters expect annually. There's a piece of chocolate behind each door. Every morning they open the corresponding door on their respective calendar and get sweet treat. Sure, there's a good measure of holiday cheer involved, but let's be honest - there's chocolate. In the morning. Of course they're going to be excited about that. The calendar could herald the apocalypse and children would be just as jazzed. Oooh! I got one of the HORSEMEN!!!

[Katie dons a cashmere wrap, fixes a spot of Irish Breakfast tea and settles into an overstuffed chair.]

When I was a kid, we had an Advent calendar. Yes sir. One Advent calendar for us children. We shared it. And you know what? It didn't have chocolate inside. There were pictures behind each door. Just pictures. We were content to feast our eyes on the same pictures we'd seen, year after year. And you know what else? We were good and excited about opening the door each day on that sugar-free calendar. In fact, we fought about it - pushing and shoving to get to be the first one to the calendar each morning. Our mother put an end to that behavior by making us pick odd/even days and alternate every year, so I savored the treat of opening the double doors on Christmas Day biennially.

My children will be home from school shortly. They're not expecting the chocolate calendar. I already told them my childhood Advent calendar story and reported my plans to seek out a food-free one this year. They were so understanding about it that I decided right then and there to quit rumbling and get them the chocolate calendar they like so much. But I am going to keep an eye out for a nice keepsake Advent calendar to use this time next year.

How do you take your calendar?


Jessica Paul said...

Well, I thought I was the mother of the year last year when I replaced all of the chocolate in Henry's very first Advent calendar with his multi-vitamin. I think he's on to me this year, though... Chocolate in the morning just may happen.

Anonymous said...

We have a little Christmas tree wall hanging that has 24 ornaments with velcro that the kids fight to hang up everyday. That was until this year when my mother-in law introduced the chocolate calendar. They woke extra early this morning in anticipation of the chocolate. It was good while it lasted.


Katie Fairbank said...

Jessica - Brilliant idea! I'm sure Jessica Seinfeld would agree, too, if Advent calendars were a part of her repertoire.

Kim - I hope to find something similar my kids can fight over. Let us mothers unite to ban the chocolate next year and keep family tradition! Thanks for visiting. ;)

Anonymous said...

This is the first year we've counted the days with an advent calendar. It's actually 24 little red slippers hanging from a red ribbon. I tucked a little something into each little slipper. A few have chocolate coins but most have other things like tiny bookmarks, tree ornaments, squishy foam, monster post-its, japanese erasers and tickets to all the events we have planned this holiday season -- a gingerbread house-making party and Sofie's very first Nutcracker at the Joffrey. They're delighted with it so far ... and they haven't yet peeked into slippers on down the line.