Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent Calendar

Growing up, one of my favorite holiday memories was the good ol' Advent Calendar. I loved opening the cardboard windows each day to reveal a little piece of chocolatey goodness. Goodness that my sisters and I could enjoy every day for 24 days. Simply wonderful.

I had high hopes of creating a DIY Advent Calendar. One that would last for years and years and become a sweet annual tradition. I would carefully choose daily treats for Ingrid: stickers, ornaments, candies, random things from the dollar section of Target. I would place them in special envelopes or boxes. On December 1, Ingrid would come rushing into the living room with slippered feet with anticipation of her first daily surprise.

I found these seriously cute ideas on Pinterest including a countdown to Christmas book idea. You wrap 24 books (new, used, borrowed from the library, holiday-themed, non-holiday-themed) for kids to open and enjoy each night. We have plenty of books so I narrowed down my options to these sweet ideas:

Home Advent Calendar - via

Kraft Box Advent Calendar - via

Old Window Advent Calendar - via

And....didn't feel like creating any of them.

I don't know about you, but sometimes Pinterest makes me feel like a worthless pile. I love the idea of these crafts but not the patience or energy. All of the beautiful homes, intricate desserts and crafts make me want to throw my laptop in the air in defeat.

Enough about Pinterest.

During a semi-routine trip to CVS a quirky Advent Calendar caught my eye and I figured that Ingrid would get a kick out of Santa and I'd throw a chocolate or two her way and we'd move on with our day.

I completely underestimated the power of chocolate and the memory of Ingrid.

For the first few days, I would offer Ingrid a little piece of chocolate and watch as her eyes would light up - just around the same time Dan would offer me a look of judgement from across the kitchen. I would shrug my shoulders as to say "Come on Dan, live a little!" And then pat myself on the back for being a Fun Mom.

The next morning her first words were "Chocolate?" and I knew I had created a treat monster.

We had to deny her the chocolate that I introduced. We had to deny her because the whole "one-chocolate-a-day" thing created a whiny child who would repeatedly point at the calendar and ask ever-so-sweetly for "More Chocolate?"

This afternoon I threw away eight pieces of unwanted chocolate. Eight! Ok, I had a rough case of food poisoning otherwise none of that chocolate would have seen the trash can. I guess any case of food poisoning is rough, but I had to miss my first day at my new job because of it, so I would say it rough.

Anyways - I don't know what I was thinking - that she wouldn't catch on. That she wouldn't ask for more. I thought it would be a sweet surprise to the end of the day or a post-nap treat. Those DIY Advent Calendars are looking pretty good right now - but I think next year I'll opt for the classic construction paper count-down chain.

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