How can it be the first of December already? I still have so much to do (packing! cleaning! shopping!) but I eagerly look forward to this month and one of our favourite Christmas traditions - the Advent calendar.
I feel a bit guilty that I haven't had time to dedicate to holiday crafts this year like I've had in the past. But I knew I just had to make the Advent calendar happen. Chloe has been eagerly anticipating it; she loves opening each day in the calendar, finding an activity and sometimes a treat.
The cotton bags I've used in years past are packed away. Somewhere. Beneath the dozens of other cardboard boxes currently scattered around the house. And so, this year's Advent calendar is a bit simpler. I've printed a calendar of activities with each date covered by a piece of washi tape. While it's not as grandiose as previous displays, the message and purpose remain the same.
The greatest gift of the Advent calendar is time. There's something so wonderful about setting time aside to come together as a family, away from the distractions of iPads and Netflix and housework. Sugar cookie baking, driving around to see the lights, making snow angels... these are just some of the memories the calendar has given us over the years.
We managed to host a gingerbread decorating party this weekend for Chloe and her friends, as well. I really wanted to give Chloe have one last opportunity to celebrate with her besties. The girls didn't care that I didn't have streamers up or holiday decorations displayed. They didn't mind the moving boxes in the corners of the room, nor the mismatched party plates. What mattered was they got to spend time together. Giggling. Fighting over gummy wreaths. Debating whether or not Santa was real.
This holiday season, I'm going to hold onto that message. In between the hustle and bustle, I'll seek those moments when I can give my time and attention to those I love most. I hope you give and receive those gifts too.