Now that my daughter is the wizened age of four, she is quite aware of what Christmas is about. Presents, sparkly lights, pie, and staying up late, In that order. Her anticipation is palpable. In an attempt to reduce the constant question of “is it Christmas yet?” I made a (questionable) decision to create an Advent calendar of sorts for her. On December 2nd. Distraction is my weapon of choice, but it doesn’t always cooperate with my schedule.
First order of business: I need to find a vessel for these “bonbons d’Advent” (that could be right, I don’t know. I don’t speak French, I just play one on TV). AHA! My mom gave me these numbered ornaments years ago, and I have these little fake trees with lights and i also have a fireplace… et voila!
Now, what to put inside? Some of the ornaments are large, but most are small. *Googles advent ideas with the speed of Santa’s reindeer* After a brief consultation of Google image results, I decide to write little things to do on pieces of paper, put them in each ornament, and some will have added goodies. No prob, Bob.
I get all the things cut out and realized that I am totally going to forget what I put in which ornament. And what if things that took a while, like finding six reindeer on the Christmas tree, happened to fall on nights where we were going to be home late? There could be CATASTROPHE. So with my anxiety solidly driving the bus, I set to writing a comprehensive plan out: weekend days marked, late evenings noted, special symbols for days with candy, days that have little items, days with stickers. *phew* Mama wasn’t going to be caught flat-footed, no sirree.
Almost immediately, I start running into… obstacles. Namely, the smaller ornaments are tiny.
Things start getting moved around on my crispy, clean list. Ideas tossed out, symbols obscured as they become irrelevant. New entries are noted next to old. Carefully written paper slips become a snarl of cross-hatching and side notes. Soon, my muttering starts to attract the attention of my daughter, so I’m forced to use my best Jedi-Mama-trick to deflect her curiosity while I continue to mash paper and various odd bits into the ornaments.
After dinner, we open the first two ornaments. I learn two things from this: 1. my kid can’t actually open the ornaments on her own so I don’t have to worry about her breaking into things early and 2. OH YEAH SHE CAN’T READ YET, so it’s completely possible to make up stuff on the fly if necessary. *facepalm*
Since then, we’ve opened up three more ornaments: one was an item (this was the easiest), one was to look for a book which I didn’t think to look for beforehand until after I wrote it down, then couldn’t find, so we just made up a title we knew was close by (#nailedit), and the last I threw a candy in and took out the paper because we didn’t get the tree on time (*shakes fist at the rain*).
I feel like there is a lesson or five in there, but mostly I’m just proud that I put this all together with even a tiny measure of success. Although I have a creeping feeling that I’ve created a monster… any tips for how I do this for the next 20 years? Maybe some wine pairings??