Advent Calendar

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…

Merry Christmas!!!

Advent Calendar

6 thoughts on “Advent Calendar

  1. Oh my gosh I love this! So going in my “someday” folder :).

    Why have I never heard of the Memorial Illumination before? That is so going on my “definitely MUST do” list for next year.

    Have fun with Santa tomorrow!

  2. Hey Rebecca–the Memorial Illumination only happens one night a year (because it takes thousands of volunteers to light 23,110 luminaries). It is the first Saturday in December. Every single stinkin year I have missed it, but I was determined to do it this year. I scoffed when The Man said it would be 10:00 when we got home. Scoffed I tell you. Darned if it wasn’t 10:15. It is a LONG trip, but it was incredible. That said, I wouldn’t try it again with little ones. I’d wait another ten or so years. Or maybe I could go ALL BY MYSELF and then I’d have SIX HOURS of quiet time… Hmmm… 😉 Seriously, it is well worth the trip, at least once.

  3. Kelly says:

    Kristen, I love this idea and I’m stealing it. I don’t know of 24 cool things to do, but Hopefully, by this time next year, I will.

    Btw… I have never heard of this memorial illumination before either. Sounds awesome though!

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