It seems we hit the ground running with Christmas this year. Connor and Helen (especially Helen) were eager to get the tree up and even more eager to pry their Advent calendars open. We've abandoned the cheap chocolate calendars in favor of the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar (Connor) and a homemade calendar (Helen). Connor loved his Lego calendar last year (that he purchased himself with birthday money) and Helen doesn't like the cheap chocolates that come in the calendars I used to purchase, so she ended up giving it all away to Connor.
True to form, Connor loves the Lego Star Wars calendar. And, I hate to admit it, but it does provide him with a lot of fun. And really, how much worse is a tiny cheap plastic toy than a piece of chocolate?
Helen's calendar is still incomplete. I purchase a wooden frame that needed to be put together that has 25 cardboard boxes that get pulled out. I had dreams of how this calendar would look. Yes, I had dreams. But, in typical fashion, the dreams were a bit beyond both my capabilities and the time available for the project. So instead of a really awesome and beautiful calendar, Helen got this.
No matter. She's pleased as can be. She even knows several of the items in the calendar, but it doesn't seem to damper her excitement much at all about finding them on their appropriate day. In fact, she even made a couple of the items in the calendar! Several of the items in the calendar are little notes that say "Have a cup of hot cocoa with mom" or "Go on a trailer bike ride with Dad". Connor threw in a few of his own, which I thought was pretty sweet of him. He also had a few little things that would fit in the boxes sitting around, so he gifted them to Helen. Two days ago, she received a shark's tooth that Connor had cast in plaster. The first thing Helen did after opening it was run upstairs and thank Connor. At this age at least, a little something can go a long way.
The first day, Helen opened the supplies to make this tree. I stole the idea from here. I fell in love with it last year, when I first saw it posted, but didn't have the time to execute. Our version has a sample of nearly every color of wool I've dyed over the years. I did the cutting of the wool, and then Connor helped Helen sew it all together. It was the first ornament on our tree.
Importantly, I haven't put numbers on any of the drawers. I wait to do that until the night before when I have a better sense of what I can accomplish the next day. For example, I don't want to give her a ticket to have cocoa with me if I'm going to be gone at bedtime. And likewise, I'm not going to ask Connor to make good on his promise to jump on the neighbor's trampoline with Helen if it's cold and rainy.
So far, so good. Though tonight I'm scheduled to make a popcorn garland for our tree - and I'm a little bit nervous about the mess that's going to follow.
Now...I just need to think of things for the last 8 days of Advent so that Helen doesn't get surprised by the empty boxes!