I've noticed a pattern: blogging comes easier if I have a theme. So over the course of the next few weeks, I plan to share some of my favorite Christmas traditions. Most of these activities and items are free or inexpensive and have been part of my life since my first Christmas. They aren't meant to be a checklist for you to add to your holidays, but maybe they will give you new ideas to try or inspire you to continue your own traditions.
For me, the Christmas season officially begins when I receive an Advent calendar from my mother. She fell in love with Advent calendars as a child and made a promise that her children would always have one. And she has stayed true to her word.
For those who are unfamiliar with Advent calendars, the calendars count down the coming of the Christ child and have hidden "doors" with numbers on them from 1 to 24. Each day during the month of December, one door is opened. What is behind each door varies based on the type of calendar; it could have a picture of a Christmas scene, a Bible verse, an ornament, or a piece of chocolate.
My Advent calendar for this year is a three-dimensional Nativity with the numbered doors hidden throughout the scene. I look forward to seeing what's behind the first door tomorrow, proving that Advent calendars have no age limits!