Today is the first day of December, and for us that means the continuation of a family tradition that has been going on for over 30 years. When we were kids, my brother and I looked forward to December and our Advent calendar. My mother made it out of fabric and felt when we were babies, and we loved seeing that familiar calendar every year. The pockets for each day were filled with sweet treats, small toys or stickers, special notes or poems, and lots of love. Even as teenagers we looked forward to solving the clues (by then given in riddle form) and finding our daily treat.
When J was born 10 years ago, my mother passed the Advent calendar on to me for use with my kids. It has hung on the wall in our house every year since. J eagerly looks forward to seeing what is in that day's pocket (he reminded me this morning that today was December 1, lest I forget). For M, this will be the first year she is old enough to participate in the Advent calendar tradition, and I hope she grows to love it as much as I do.