A few years ago, I bought one of those small houses with 25 tiny doors in it for Advent. I think I picked it up from Target. I put a slip of paper behind all 25 little doors that surprised the kids with various things they loved…slurpies, a family movie night, a cupcake run, driving through neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights, etc. It was my way of counting down to Christmas with them, in hopes that they would have a certain level of contemplation about why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
Yeah. That didn’t happen. It felt more like we were feeding some greedy monster in each of them. Instead, they just looked forward to their daily treat. And why wouldn’t they? We made it almost impossible for them to contemplate the coming of Christ and what that meant for us for all eternity. They’re great kids, but they’re human. I didn’t blame them. I blamed us.
It was one of those times in parenting when we stepped back after it all sort of blew up in our faces and wondered why in the world we ever thought giving our kids treats everyday would somehow ready their hearts for advent.
Needless to say, I packed up the little house with 25 doors that year, explained to the kids why it wouldn’t become a Christmas tradition for our family, and humbly apologized to them for ever thinking it was a great idea. Parenting is one teachable moment after another for me.
I was determined that we’d just count down to Christmas on our calendars, until I saw an idea on Pinterest that I knew I had to try! I had all the supplies I needed, accept for the tiny brown bags, which I picked up from Michael’s. At first, I was just going to let it be a countdown calendar, but then I was talking to my friend Julie about one of their family traditions, and I decided to adopt it for us this year.
So, what are some of the Christmas traditions in your family? I’m wondering if we’ll do this one again, or if we’ll just come up with a few of our favorites from this list to make into a tradition. I’ll keep you posted!
oh! Don’t forget to link up YOUR house in Jenn Rizzo’s 3rd annual linky party!