Each Christmas as our son gets older, he outgrows some traditions. Gone are the days of writing letters to Santa and putting out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. However, I was surprised this year that he still wanted an Advent calendar. After Thanksgiving, he insisted on picking out a calendar that would offer the best chocolate. Usually, his criteria are how large the calendar is and if the days are mixed up, making it more challenging to find the correct day, I suppose. Then December 1, he starts the countdown to Christmas, with a daily chocolate treat. He’ll sometimes make a comment on the shape of the candy, for instance “What does a mushroom have to do with Christmas?” I guess you’re never too old for chocolate!
Whoever thought of the Advent calendar was very clever. This simple concept of counting the days until Christmas, partnered with a sweet treat taught our son patience. For an early age, he didn’t complain that the days weren't flying by until Christmas. He actually looked forward to each day’s door, with the knowledge Christmas is getting closer.
Towards the end, he’ll notice that there are only 24 sections of the calendar and each year he asks what about the chocolate on the 25th? We explain that the whole purpose of the calendar is counting the days until Christmas, which is the payoff. We also remind him we told him the same thing last year. He answers he knows, but would like a door for Christmas anyway. Since none of the calendars offer this feature, we make up for it by having his stocking filled with chocolates. Yeah, I know we’ve got sucker written on our foreheads!! However, until he outgrows this tradition, it’s worth it!