Growing up, my mom always made us Advent calendars. These are calendars that help a child (or adult!) count down the days till Christmas, starting on December 1st. There are different kinds of calendars. Some offer tasty treats each day, and some have 24 little ornaments for each day to decorate a little tree. Mom's always involved chocolate. The one I remember most was a Christmas tree made out of Hershey's kisses or those little mini candy bars. She'd glue the candies into a triangular shape onto construction paper in an appropriate Christmas color. Each day we would pluck a candy off and eat it. When Christmas came Mom would give us a special little present as part of the calendar. Nothing too fancy.
These yearly calendars hold a special place in my heart, and I wanted to pass on this tradition to my kids. In 2005 Justin and I purchased Evan a little truck with 25 drawers. In each drawer I placed a Hershey's kiss. On December 1st I presented Evan with his truck. He played with it till the wheels started to come off. He opened drawers. It was a lot of fun. However, I learned that an almost 2 year old really doesn't have a whole lot of self control. He didn't want just one Hershey's kiss. He wanted them all! I tried to explain waiting for one tomorrow, I tried bribing him with the secret stash in the kitchen. But Evan loved the thrill of finding each chocolate, and gobbling it up.
This year my sister and brother in law sent me an Advent calendar. It came on Thursday, which meant I couldn't rip it open until Saturday. Ugh! I somewhat patiently waited until Saturday, and had the first itty bitty chocolate. Too bad there aren't enough in there to share (sneaky grin.) Today there were actually two, so Justin and I had one a piece. Another chocolate fell out of the box, and before you could say "Merry Christmas" Duncan grabbed it, and started stuffing it in his mouth, wrapper and all (just like Evan when he tried his first Hershey's kiss!) I moaned about losing a chocolate, and then unwrapped it for him. I peeked in the box to see which day's chocolate had been lost. Christmas Day! Justin joked that we wouldn't have any chocolate that day (we usually have it in abundance!) It looks like I will have to purchase some supplemental chocolates to get the whole family through Advent!