When I was a kid we had a felt advent calendar. My mom always packed it away with the Christmas tree decorations, so every year when we put up our tree in mid December it was my job to pin the first two weeks of ornaments on the felt tree. For the rest of the month whoever got to the calendar first would pin up a new ornament. Not only was it part of our tradition, it was a handmade craft that my grandmother made.
My own kids only know the store bought advent calendars. They expect chocolate. Strangely enough it was that same crafty grandmother who always sent my kids the throwaway versions. This year, short of a miracle, she will not be sending anything through the mail. It wasn’t until I asked my daughter to guess today’s date that I realized we wouldn’t be getting advent calendars unless we went out and bought them ourselves. To me this was the sign of a tradition meant to be broken.
As young as they are, my little ones quickly agreed to an environmentally friendly alternative. Instead of buying a calendar we will use a page from our scrap paper pile to draw a Christmas picture for our fridge. For December 1st we drew a turquoise Christmas tree sitting in a pile of red snow. When we were done we each indulged in a single chocolate chip. Yum. They can’t wait until tomorrow.
It will be fun to compare our December calendars each year as the kids develop their artistic skills! Do you have a green advent tradition?
[This post was written by Tara Benwell.]