Last advent LPP and LMB had Hello Kitty and Winnie the Pooh themed advent calendars respectively. Neither calendar had any real leaning towards being Christmassy in design or sentiment other than a sparse sprinkling of holly on Hello Kitty’s bow and a snowy covering on the hundred acre wood. They clearly did all they had to from a child’s perspective, that is provide chocolate before PJs were off and faces were washed and, gasp, breakfast was had. Last year, LPP had completely understood the concept of opening one door per day, counting all the way down to Christmas day, and being the keen bean that she is, it was also a welcome number practising and counting exercise for her too. Little Monster Blue on the other hand was arguably still a little bit too young to grasp the concept of opening a particular window each day, and only one at a time. He very much subscribed to the view, if there is chocolate in one, there’s chocolate in them all, why wait til tomorrow for you can have today? We had many a morning meltdown over opening only one window, and you can imagine the morning (Day 14 as I recall) when it was a fridge magnet instead of chocolate behind the window.
So this year, I decided a return to tradition was in order. No character themed advent calendars, but good old traditional ones, with proper Christmas scenes and nothing more than a Christmas themed picture behind the daily windows. The same kind as my sister and I had growing up. Off we trotted a few weekends ago with the specific task of buying advent calendars in mind. LPP selected a beautifully depicted nativity scene, commercially sparkling with glitter nonetheless, but containing all the requisite parts of a true Christmas scene. LMB opted for a traditional Santa scene, a proper drawing, less cartoony than the heavily characterised ones with and more artistic sketching, surrounded by traditional toys and festive offerings.
This morning there was much excitement as the official opening of day one on the advent calendars commenced. LPP explained the inner workings to her little brother, “you open 1 today, there’ll be a picture, 2 tomorrow, there’ll be a picture, 3 the next day, there’ll be a picture, 4 the next day, there’ll be a picture”….and so forth through to 24. Really. By this time LMB had tuned out as despite being so ickle something in his memory reserves was clearly taking him back to similar activities of the year previous where the chocolate had been an integral part of this process. He was itching to pop open window number 1 and uncover its contents. With a little bit of help, and a lot of patience, we prised open the well hidden number 1 window to reveal an advent wreath topped with candles. ‘Yay, a birthday cake!’ he exclaimed. Hhmm.
LPP went next, and revealed beneath window number 1, a trumpet. A Christmas trumpet she tells me. But a trumpet all the same.
It was over in seconds and didn’t quite have the excitement I recall when at that same age my sister and I would wonder for hours what might be behind the next window. The calendars were propped back up on the table and breakfast was had, only for LPP to holler through a short while later when the pair of them had been tasked with getting shoes and jackets on….” Mummmmmy, he’s opened 18, 23 and 21.”
Thanks goodness for that Peppa Pig caramel centred chocolate filled calendar with the faux Christmas scene I’ve got hidden in the cupboard. I think I’ll scoff the lot tonight!