Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. My favorite parts of Christmas include: the many gatherings and celebrations with family and friends; the receipt of our annual Christmas cards, letters and pictures; the preparation and making of special gifts and treats; the decorating of our house, which becomes a bit of a transformation for the holiday season; and, all the prepartion for that very special time of Christmas Eve when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
I also enjoy the many traditions associated with Christmas. One such tradition at our house was the advent calendar. When Alecia and Anna were still toddlers, I made them an advent calendar to help them count down to Christmas Eve. I stitched 24 miniature ornaments and then made a felt wall hanging with an appliqued tree to provide a place to hang the ornaments.
During the month of December, the girls would take turns pinning an ornament to the felt Christmas tree. It was a fun way to count down the days to Christmas and they grew more and more excited as each ornament was added.
The ornaments had a mix of designs on them, including snowmen, angels, snow flakes, miscellaneous toys, and the baby Jesus in a manger.
When the girls became adults and left home, it wasn’t nearly as much fun to have the advent calendar up. Last week, Alecia mentioned that she was looking for an alternative to the advent calendars that have candy in them, as she doesn’t like the girls to eat a lot of sweets. I asked her if she would like to have our advent calendar and she graciously agreed. Since yesterday was a busy day for everyone, it wasn’t until this morning that we were able to get together. Andy came by with the girls and Belén was very excited to see the advent calendar. I pinned the calendar to the back of the couch and explained to B how to use it. I then showed her where the ornaments were in the pockets of the calendar and she pulled out the first ornament from the #1 pocket and I helped her pin it to the top of the tree. She was then excited to see what was in the #2 pocket and she retrieved the ornament from it. Once that was carefully pinned on the tree, she was ready to keep going and hang the remaining ornaments.
I explained to her that she would have to wait until tomorrow to hang the next ornament. She wasn’t too happy about that concept, but I suggested instead that she could look at the other ornaments that were in the remaining pockets and she liked that idea.
She was quite pleased with the various cross stitched ornaments and although she would have liked to hang them on the tree, seemed content with putting them back in the pockets and waiting to hang them on a future day.
I enjoyed giving our granddaugthers the advent calendar that their mother, Alecia, and Auntie Anna used for many years. Belén was so excited to learn about it and try it out and I know will be eager each day to add an ornament. Eloise was more interested in playing with Bapa (which he didn’t mind a bit), and will become more interested when she is a little older. I feel so blessed to have them to pass down this very special tradition.
I hope you too are enjoying this holiday season.