Posted in Daily life

’tis the season

Even though the temperature outside might be rising into the 20s and 30s (well, not quite 30s yet, but almost…) and the sun is coming out more and more these days, it is still almost December. And for our kids, December means one thing: Advendskalender!

If you’re not familiar with the concept – and, truth be told, if you’re not German, chances of that are pretty high – an Advendskalender is a way for children to count down to Christmas. With a little present each day, starting on the 1st of December, it is a sure way of making certain that your kids get up even earlier in the morning than usual. Especially on weekends…

But I digress.

Advendskalender come in all shapes and sizes. From postcards with tiny doors opening to even tinier pictures, calendars containing little chocolates or Lego’s to the adult version with beers or even whiskys.

When I grew up, however, my parents would have none of that pre-made stuff. They would always make one themselves, filling it with little treats, and oftentimes pieces of Lego that would, stretched over the month, amount to a full model. To this day, this remains one of my fondest memories of Christmas-time in my childhood.

And because of that, we decided early on that we would do the same for our own children.

We started the tradition in 2009, decorating two wooden boxes with the names of our kids and attaching the presents.
We started the tradition in 2009, decorating two wooden boxes with the names of our kids and attaching the presents.

Little did we know how much work this actually is. Not only does the wrapping take ages (not to mention all the strings and knots), it’s the gathering of presents that is the real time consumer.

2010: The boxes remain the same, just the paper changes.
2010: The boxes remain the same, just the paper changes.

Finding 24 little presents is not an easy task, especially if your children aren’t that much into Lego. So you start looking for other games or toys that can be divided up into at least 8 different parcels. Insider tip: card games are ideal for this!

2011: Less glitter, more monochrome.
2011: Less glitter, more monochrome.

The devil is in the detail during the wrapping. Since our children are very close together in age, we oftentimes have the same sweets or treats for them in the calendar. So before we wrap the presents (we usually take one child each), we align the numbering so that the same gifts are received on the same day. Just to prevent any arguments.

2014: Including a small card-calendar from Oma in Germany.
2014: Including a small card-calendar from Oma in Germany.
2015: New country, new background.
2015: New country, new background. But we did take our calendar boxes down under.

After all this time I appreciate the gesture from my parents even more than I did then. Each year the kids look forward to the calendar as much as I did when I was young. And every year it fills my heart to see their shining eyes and hear their excited voices; just as it must have filled my parent’s heart. Thank you mom and dad!

’tis the season…

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6 thoughts on “’tis the season

  1. Een geweldig mooie traditie, die onze kinderen ook hebben meegekregen. Een spannende tijd, geniet er met volle teugen van! Dikke hug voor jullie vier van Jan en Marijke

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  2. Jullie hebben weer goed je best gedaan hoor!Ziet er weer heel gezellig uit.
    Heel veel plezier met zoveel leuke pakjes.Dikke knuffel van ons!!😍😍😍😍

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  3. Het blijft leuk zo’n kersttraditie πŸŽ„. Maar wat houdt de Australische traditie ‘Elf on the Shelf’ in? Ik ben benieuwd ..

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  4. Wow, I loves this advent tradition! Our Elf on the Shelf leaves a new Christmas book back from santa after a good report to the north pole, and then we pack all the christmas books up and ship them back to santa January, so he can send them again next year. πŸ˜‰

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