Today, December 4th, 2017, I realized that I didn’t buy my kids an advent calendar. I also realized that I am okay with that.
Since I can remember, I’ve bought our children the cheap .99 advent calendars. You know, the ones with the not so great chocolate pieces behind the little tiny paper door that you could barely see the number on.
Each day, usually before breakfast, the kids, would come out of their rooms, scampering to the calendar with their name on it (we don’t share our advent chocolates) to open the tiny little door and pull out the tiny piece of not so great chocolate and inspect it. Most of the time we couldn’t even tell what the shape was meant to be. “Oh”, I’d say confidently while lying through my teeth. “It’s a bell!” or “It’s holly!” And they were satisfied enough to pop the little chocolate morsels in their mouths and eagerly await the same routine tomorrow.
There were years when we lived overseas and the two older kids lived in the US. Most years, I managed to get them all an advent calendar. They may have started on them a few days late but that just meant that they got to catch up. Imagine it! An entire mouthful of tiny pieces of not so great chocolate. YAY!
Some years they would start in on their tiny paper door openings late on purpose just SO they could catch up. Or the would “accidentally” eat one out of turn and have to get things back in order. (Well, the numbers were tiny.) Or they might eat them all in one or two days and then peer into the emptied tiny little paper doors each day until Santa came.
Last year in England, I splurged and bought them all calendars that contained really good chocolate (because getting bad chocolate in England was a foodie crime I wasn’t going to commit). They even had a bar of chocolate up at the top with their name personalized on it.
I went out in a blaze of glory!
Well, I hope they remember that one forever because this year I forgot! I didn’t even think about it. I’ve seen them, talked about them, walked passed them in multiple stores, and not once, NOT ONCE, did it occur to me to pick up a handful of those .99 cent flats with ill-numbered, tiny paper doors and unrecognizeable chocolate pieces.
There have been multiple areas recently where I have found myself unconsciously embracing these empty nest years and having adult children. Not worrying about buying them advent calendars is one of them.
I’m not sure if they’ll carry on the cheap chocolate advent calendar tradition in their families or not. It’s okay if they do and it’s okay if they don’t.
So, kids, this year you can buy your own advent calendars. But only if you want to.
And now, I just realized that I saved about $6. That’s enough to buy me some really good chocolate, I think. I’m a new fan of the Caramel M&M’s. $6 will buy a couple bags of those!
Nothers, how are you doing this holiday season? Are you embracing the change? Are you passing the baton? If not, I encourage you to. This can be a really hard time for us moms as we adjust to taking that next step of letting our kids go and do their thing. It’s sometimes so hard for us to watch them let go of something we held dear. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we did things differently than our parents did too. We started our own new traditions when we left home. But we also kept some and I think our kids will too. I’m hoping you will let your adult children “buy their own advent calendars” too and then go buy yourself something yummy instead. #perks
Andrea Stunz is a committed wife, an incredibly blessed mom, a grateful mother-in-law and a ridiculously proud Gimi. She is a seasoned traveler from south Texas. Having visited countries all over the globe and lived in Brazil, Singapore and the UK, she finds hope and comfort in a beautiful sunrise and a good cup of coffee. Andrea is a self-proclaimed stumbling pilgrim who is ever so grateful for grace. She longs to encourage others in their stories by sharing a part of hers because “a story worth living is a story worth sharing”. Find more of her work over at www.emptyplatefullheart.com and www.notherhood.com.
See more of her contributions for allmomdoes here.