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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advent Adventure

This may shock some of you, but I am what the husband lovingly terms A Christmas Freak. While I wouldn't necessarily label myself with such a harsh term, I must confess that my normal sanity completely slightly disappears for one month once Thanksgiving ends. For example, I listen to ALL Christmas music, even the songs most people run from (although I totally draw the line at Christmas Shoes, so please don't call the men in white coats). I collect snowmen, when I typically (and condescendingly) label all non-Christmas figurines as future landfill. I also love, love, love the movie A Christmas Story. You might ask, "how much?"

Well... how about this much?


One of my absolute favorite parts of Christmas is the Advent Calendar. We own two... this one:

(I just love where the Tongginator placed the donkey, don't you?)

and also this one:


My favorite is this second one, mostly because we don't fill it with the typical stickers and candy. Instead I fill it with little objects to symbolize special Advent activities. For example:

(click on the photo to enlarge, if needed)

If you look closely, you can see:
  • Santa with a mini film canister (taking photos with Santa)
  • a collage of movies (pajama and Christmas movie slugfest)
  • lights (getting ready for bed, then taking a drive to look at the Christmas lights in the neighborhood while wearing pajamas)
  • a mini Dear Santa letter (sending an e-mail to Mr. Claus - what can I say? - we are high-tech)
  • the photo/ fern thing is a picture of me and the husband on our wedding day (it marks our December anniversary)
  • gingerbread men (baking Christmas cookies)
  • a ceramic panda (unique to our family... it marks the anniversary of our adoption referral)
  • dreidels (marks the first night of Hanukkah)
I have something significant in all 25 cubbies, each related to the adventure that is Advent. We also use the book The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel to help the Tongginator connect Jesus with our many holiday traditions.

Our Advent Adventure works for us every year... what works for you?

35 comments:

Dawn said...

I love your Advent adventure... I wish I had Lisa's book when my kiddos were little.

Blessings, from one Christmas freak to another.

PS - I grew up in a Cleveland suburb, not far from where The Christmas Story movie was filmed. And I've seen THE house. Oh. yes. My husband will not allow me to buy the lamp. I may one day anyway. Ha.

Jamie said...

The infamous leg lamp! Oh, I love it. Especially hovering suggestively over your Advent calendars. :D

Misty said...

tm, would you be so kind as to hop over to my lil piece of teh blogosphere and answer a query i have posted? it would be most helpful! thanks!

Peanut said...

That second Advent calendar is the coolest thing! Where did you get it? We are doing NOTHING to count down to Christmas this year... unless you count when I keep looking at the calendar and hyperventilating!

mub said...

I love the idea for the second advent calendar!

Rhonda said...

Heh, love the second calendar...and the dreidels. ;)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Oh my word....you have the LEG....."Fragile" We love that movie!! I cannot tell you how many times I have watched that movie....it is definitely a Christmas tradition in this house!!

Your advent calendars are terrific....I love what you did. Now I am feeling a little lame in comparison.....

Happy Holidays!

Lisa

OziMum said...

I LOVE your advent thingies! I'm a slacker and just buy the chocolate ones from the supermarket!!

I'd love one like yours! I'd have to put chocolate in the little holes though!!!

OH MY #6 said...

I am probably the only one in the world that listens to Christmas Shoes! there its out! But, I am loving snowmen too! All of a sudden it has happened.

But, honest to goodness I must ask. Is the white advent chest from Pottery Barn? IF not where?!!!

Lea
xo

Briana's Mom said...

I need to buy a leg lamp! So funny!

LOVE your advent calendar. So creative!

Lisa Cairney said...

Fun! My neighbors have the same advent calendar that you do...the second one...and they are so sweet...retired couple...and the wife showed me last year how her husband got it for HER to put little special notes and giftcards and IOUs for little coffee/donut dates in each day's cubbie just to show his love for her....very sweet

Sherri said...

Love, love, love the leg lamp!!
That movie is my favourite Christmas movie of all time.
FYI: Hallmark has the leg lamp tree ornament this year..

delucchi family said...

I love Christmas too and there is not much of it here in China
Love Jules

gritandglory.com said...

i'm giggling that you have the leg lamp.

and i love how you're so intentional about making christms about christ!

Norah said...

Ummm, the week of Thanksgiving, the radio gets tuned into the 24 hour Christmas music station. It doesn't get touched until Christmas is over. My husband is SCARED to touch the radio in the car. Scared!

Joan said...

What a cute idea for an advent calendar. We don't have one yet...mostly because it's just the hubby and I and we would probably forget all the time (plus stickers and candy just aren't that exciting). I'll have to remember that idea for the future.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

How fun!
I love your personal advent treasures!
The Christmas Story is big at our house too. Though I don't have the lamp, I'm afraid!

discombobulated said...

I love your Advent Calendars. Even the first x-rated one, thanks to little Miss T. I didn't see the lamp in your house.

prechrswife said...

Love the Advent Calendars. We've never really done that, but I think the kids would enjoy it. Maybe for next year...

And LOL at the lamp! That is hilarious. I haven't seen that movie in years, either. :-)

Michelle said...

I cannot not believe you own that lamp.

When I first saw it in a catalog a few years back I thought to myself "Now who would actually buy that and put it in their house"?

Now I know. LOL.

I do love that movie though.

And I will be the second person to admit to listening to the Christmas Shoes song.

But only when the windows are up and there is no one else around :)

mommy24treasures said...

oh thank you for mentioning that book I need to look for it!

Beverly said...

what a great idea.

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVE your personalized advent! The panda is just perfect!
(Oh, and Christmas Movie is a hit in my house as well. ;-))

Gail said...

I CANNOT believe you have a leg lamp...I burst out laughing when I saw the picture. That movie is my very favorite Christmas movie...ever.

Love your advent calendars, we have one too. It's a fabric calendar with little pockets in it and we put treats in them everyday. Somedays William...ahem...takes Grace's treat before she can find hers. ;)

No Mother Earth said...

What a lovely, lovely tradition. I too love all Christmas music except The Christmas Shoes. That song must be banned, imho.

Nicole said...

Love your second Advent Calendar (we have the same one...but in red!!)
I also love the idea of filling it items other than candy!! We may just have to try that next year!!

Nicole said...

Love your second Advent Calendar (we have the same one...but in red!!)
I also love the idea of filling it items other than candy!! We may just have to try that next year!!

Thanksgivingmom said...

Oh, my Mom's a full on Christmas nutjob.

We usually have at least TWO christmas trees (at least) because the first one's not "just right" so it gets planted in the front yard - the second one's closer, but not perfect, so it goes somewhere in the house, and then the third one is - wait, no, maybe the first was was good....yeah, unplant the first one, put THAT as the real tree, then plant the second one, and move the third to the spare den.....yeah....that should be good.....for today.

And on it goes.

The guest room right now has all of her Christmas toys so I couldn't sleep in there last night as there were too many "eyes" on me. Sure, they're beady and not real, but it was just too much.

Oh, and of course, Mom has the leg lamp.....

So if hubby thinks you're nuts, just tell him to be glad you're not like MY mom :)

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Ok... now I stopped at Christmas Shoes... I just love that one... and adore the movie... sorry, but I have it but here in Florida... it is to 'warm' to watch it... you need to watch it on a cold night... :)

Sorry it has been a while between visits... stuff is busy here... if I don't drop in before Christmas... have a good one... take care

Special K said...

I love that movie.
"You'll shoot your eye out!" LOL!

Great idea with the advent calendar. I'll have to file that away for future cool mommy points.

PS. Is that Lisa Whelchel as in "Blair" from Facts of Life?

chicknboy said...

I can't believe you have the leg lamp! my husband HAS TO watch that movie every year..EVERY year!

love both your advent calendars!

Sharie said...

LOVE your Christmas traditions!
I put our advent calendar on the front door because I gave a bunch of decorations I was planning to replace to charity. (Many people lost theirs in the flood) anyway - I didn't get them replaced and so the only thing I had to hang on my door was the calendar - sad as it still say there are 18 days till Christmas.

CC said...

I love, love, love this idea!!!!!

Gotta check out that book too.

Debbie said...

How fun! Thanks for letting us have a little peak into your traditions. I love Advent calendars too.

discombobulated said...

Oh, I'm so embarrassed. I just looked again and saw where the donkey is. I was thinking x-rated because of the camel's position!