Waiting is hard, being patient knowing something as exciting as Christmas is tough, especially for kids. The sheer site of Christmas lights, Christmas trees, candy canes…insert any thing that resembles a holiday motif and our daughter asks….”How many more days until Christmas?” She was going on 3 years old when she first started the count down, which was very sweet and a lot of fun. But it was hard for her to understand time and how much longer was she going to have to wait.
A dear friend of ours, who is a teacher and knows the age appropriate things for children, gifted us the most amazing and fun advent calendar tree. It has become a wonderful tradition in our house and a daily activity for the kids to do. Kick off to counting down to Christmas starts on December 1st for our family, the kids start asking about in when Halloween is over. We hang the calendar tree in our kitchen so it is easily accessible and a main focus for our kids. Harper (4 going on 5) and Thomas (2) both run to the tree before breakfast and add one more ornament to the tree.
This year we are actually using the tree in reverse order, but whatever works, this is not a battle I was willing to fight. The ornaments are to be all placed in the pockets at the bottom of the tree and each day you pull one out and hang on the tree, so when Christmas comes on December 25th, the tree is full of beautiful ornaments. The past 2 years we have successfully followed the instructions, but then this year the rules changed. Harper wanted to place an ornament in the pockets each day, making sure she knew how many more days until Christmas. Her creativity and reasoning was not wrong and so we are trying it her way this year! We still have a battle most mornings, Harper puts one ornament in the correct pocket, announces how many days are left and is so very proud and then her brother comes along and pulls as many out as he can. 🙂
What I love about this tradition is that it will change every year in the way that the kids connect with counting down to Christmas day, but the memories and focus they have, are what is important.
Life is not always as we plan, we don’t always follow the rules, we don’t always do things in the correct order, but we are enjoying the journey of getting there. I have to take a deep breath most mornings to not scream over the advent calendar, but then I remember the lack of questions I have received this year of “How many days until Christmas?”
What is your families favorite way to count down until Christmas?
Harper with the Advent Calendar tree this year – working on it after her brother went to bed! 🙂
2017 – Harper and Thomas with the Advent Calendar.