Have you seen all the hubbub about advent calendars in the blogosphere? Well, I'm adding my own to that.
Last night while reading bedtime stories to Griff he asked about our Advent calendar. He wanted to know why we added an ornament to the tree every night. How does that help count down to Christmas? Seriously, dear reader. He has a point. No worries though. He made a paper chain at school and will be removing a link every day. Oh the anticipation!
Boy oh boy did I go overboard on my advent a few years ago - not the number of calendars but the type of things I stuffed in the drawers. Took me a couple month's worth of planning and I ended up hating it and not putting it out the next year.
My boys noticed. OH MAN DID THEY NOTICE, and I had to make some changes to my advent philosophy.
Let's back up a bit. I have a chest advent. It has doors that swing open to reveal 24 drawers of varying sizes. My SIL, Chris, gave this to me one year when she & Mike had me & Jon. As if the chest wasn't a gift in itself, they filled the drawers with miscellaneous items such as candy, small additions to my Christmas Village (I still include that tricycle every year), and numbers that corresponded to larger packages in a separate box. Some of the larger gifts included cake mix, frosting and candles (Jon's b-day is in December), a 12x12 paper keeper, movie passes, a duck call etc. They completely spoiled us!
I wanted to continue this fine feature, but it stressed me out more than any other part of my holiday festivities. So after not getting it out that one year, I picked up a set of small ornaments at Big Lots and placed one in each drawer. The boys get to put an ornament on a small tree every day.
Last year we figured out that the location of the chest was not good for anxious little boys who pull it over and drop all the drawers on the floor, shattering those ornaments on the tile. But don't worry - it was just what we needed to help us all jump out of bed that morning... So - I've picked up some even cheaper ornaments from Dollar Tree (not a glass one in the bunch!).
The advent chest and tree weren't out when the boys left for school this morning, but guess what they're coming home to this afternoon!
I just discovered another reason that I <3 <3 <3 quilting.... See how that shelf is kind of bowed under the weight of the chest? Well, I took the shelf out and couldn't open the doors because of the lip at the bottom of the bookshelf. So I grabbed one of those small phone books that show up on my front step every other month or so (I have a stack of them in my hall closet because they come in handy for cases such as this), topped it with a fabric scrap (I'm SO in love with the project that it's a scrap from) and oila!
Much better. It looks cozier. I didn't think that fabric was Christmasy - more Indian blanketish. But it's perfect!