‘Tis the Season: Advent Calendars

Hacking the Holidays

Photo: Lego

If you’re like me and try to decorate the house for Christmas on the weekend after Thanksgiving, perhaps one of your many festive decorations is one or a slew of Advent calendars. Advent obviously has religious origins, but for me, the month of December is nothing but a few weeks of giddy anticipation of the Christmas holiday.

It’s especially important for me to get decorations up before the start of December because one of the big parts of our holiday decor is Advent calendars. As long as I can remember, I’ve had Advent calendar windows to open throughout the month of December. When I was a kid, we had only two or three calendars at a time. Now that I’m grown up and am in charge of the holiday, we have many. Some just have little window flaps to open. Some have doors that open to compartments that I can fill with an ornament or candy. And some create entire winter or holiday scenes, in Lego or Playmobil. In addition, the kids usually each end up with one whose windows open to a piece of chocolate each day. Those are their favorites.

Photo: Playmobil

I wouldn’t say I have a collection of these calendars, per se, I just accumulate them. Depending on how much room we have to set them out on any given year, occasionally I leave a few in the holiday tubs. But this year I hope to get out as many as possible.

One of the nice things about most Advent calendars (but not the chocolate kind) is that you can reuse them each year. As long as the windows and doors don’t wear out, you can just close it all back up awaiting the next year’s decorating.

If you want to participate in this fun yearly tradition, it’s not too late. You can make your own Advent calendar, or get any number of calendars available. Places like Trader Joe’s and World Market tend to have the chocolate ones, and others are sold in stores and online. The catalog site Bas Bleu has some particularly gorgeous calendars.

Whether you celebrate this season in a secular or a religious way, have a wonderful December. Happy Advent!

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