Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Traditions: Advent

Happy December! For as much as I dislike November, this year it certainly went by in a rush, and I am happy to be in this busy, happy month of December. We're starting off on the proper note with just enough snow to make everything pretty and Christmasy, but not so much that it hinders our comings and goings.

This month I hope to blog about our Christmas traditions. We always put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Our family uses an artificial tree for no reason other than that both my husband and I grew up with artificial trees, so that is what seems normal to us. I love watching my kids get so excited when my husband hauls the tree box up from the basement. The kids love sorting the piles of branches and assembling the tree. The excitement of being able to build something huge right there in the living room, combined with knowing that it's the kick-off to a fun season, makes it such a joyful event.

We do simple advent activities in my family to count down the days to Christmas. Years ago, before I had children, but with the hope that someday I might, I made this advent quilt.

I am a self-taught sewer and quilter, and this was made early in my learning curve, so it has telltale signs of being made by someone who didn't really know what she was doing, but I love it anyway. Every day we move an ornament from the buttons on the bottom to the buttons on the tree. The children take turns choosing the ornament for the day. The ornaments are a mixture of handmade and purchased. Nice and simple.

Each child also has a Playmobil advent calendar which we've reused every year since they were very young. I'm trying to remember the first year my son did this. I think he was either 3 or 4, so this could be the 9th year we've used one of the calendars.

Every day the children open up the appropriate box and remove the play piece of the day to create a winter scene that grows larger each day. I'll take more photos of this throughout the month, as for the first few days there's really not all that much to see! The snowman will get his hat tomorrow. My children still enjoy this advent activity, even though the contents of the boxes aren't a surprise any more. They make it more exciting by trying to remember what each day's box holds before they open it up.


Anonymous said...

that advent playscape scene is sooo awesome, wish I had one!

And the picture of the bare tree with the snow, lovely! I'm in GA, and our rain and cold spell yield us no snow :(

virtualredhead said...

Advent calendars are one of my favorite holiday traditions (well, that and eggnog).

In addition to my Trader Joe's chocolate one, I'm doing my own Web 2.0 advent calendar here.

Lynn said...

I am late getting my out...