Welcome to day 3 of the Virtual Advent Tour (stop here for all the posts). As I sat thinking about what on earth I can write about this year, I thought of all the people who are so Scrooge-ish with the holiday season. “There is just too much to do!” they cry. “How can I possibly deal with EVERYTHING that is coming my way?!?”
This, my friends, is my personal answer to that question. It’s a tradition that started when I was a kid, and I’ve kept it up. And — I’m here to testify (can I get an “AMEN”?) — we’ve found that this works to not only keep the Christmas season more manageable, but makes the time pass in such at way that Christmas is enjoyed by all. At least for our family.
First you get yourselves one of these:
My mother-in-law gave us this many, many years ago. The one I grew up with was a Christmas tree with ornaments, which my mother had made.
Then, you organize your month, one activity on each day, like so (click to embiggen, if you really want to know):
Some of the events are permanent (like A’s birthday is ALWAYS on the 5th), some events we have to work around (like choir or band concerts), and some events can be moved around (like charades or story night). But generally, sometime around Thanksgiving, Hubby and I sit down and work out what has to be done and what we want to be done, tradition-wise, for this year’s Christmas season.
Then, every morning, I write down that day’s event on a little slip of paper, and stick it in the pocket.
We rotate girls (keeping track of who ended — baby Jesus is the one everyone wants; why don’t they clamor for a cow?), and they put up a character and read the note.
By the end, it looks like this, and it’s Christmas.
While we don’t have a traditional advent calendar, we also have a candle that we burn each night:
But we often seem to either forget, or burn down more than one number, so it’s kind of a haphazard way to count down the season.
How do you handle the stress of December?
Don’t forget to visit the other advent stops today!