This Advent season, as for the last few years, we’ve made an Advent calendar. I remember having a candy calendar as a child, and I just loved it — counting down the days until Christmas and, each day, unwrapping a piece of candy. Our calendar takes a little different spin. Each day there is something fun to do. Most of the activities are Christmas related, but there are a couple that are not. But all involve family time.
For instance…we spent 6 whole hours of family fun time together this past Saturday. In the car. Without getting out. We drove to Antietam to see the Memorial Illumination. I’m not even sure what I was thinking when I planned this excursion. I certainly was not thinking there would be a three hour line to GET IN. Nor did I think this would take over six hours from start to finish. Because, you know, four hours is about all the fun this family can handle before we begin to eat our own. In all seriousness, it was impressive, and while the meaning was probably lost on 75-100% of the children experiencing it, it was still something beautiful to see…23,110 luminaries, one placed for each soldier killed — both blue and gray — on Sept 17, 1862 at the Battle of Antietam. It is the bloodiest one day battle in American History. The Illumination was incredible. (Totally not Christmasy, but incredible nonetheless).
Anyway, so this year I made new cards and little vellum envelopes and snowflake confetti. The envelopes are numbered and tied with a red ribbon, and each day one of the kids opens the envelope for that day and reads the card.
This has become one of our favorite traditions. Just like when I was a girl, the kids love the anticipation of each new day, each new envelope. Wait until they open tomorrow’s envelope…