Making Memories: Christmas Advent Calendars

November 26, 2016


Byers' Choice Advent Calendar House

Ho Ho Ho friends! So Thanksgiving day has come and gone and Black Friday has officially ushered in the Christmas season. Fabulous. It's my favorite time of the year and, as such, I always try to make it a very special season full of sweet treats, holiday fun and family traditions.

First up is the advent calendar.

Yup. We count down.

It all started years and years ago, when first born was an infant. My mom and I were in a really sweet shop in a village near my home and I spotted this sweet house. There was just something so charming about it, I had to have it.

countdown to christmas with advent calendar
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Like a hazy Christmas dream, I could see the magic unfold before my eyes. Little feet in footed pjs, opening the doors with anticipation, reaching inside to find a treat and smiling with contentment.

It would be a Hallmark holiday.

(This is the one I have Byers' Choice Advent Calendar House)


Of course, I had just left a full time teaching position to stay home with a baby. Frivolous purchases were not in the budget.

But - as usual- it was mom to the rescue. She was there having that same sugarplum vision right next to me and told the saleslady, "We'll take it!" before I had time to tell her to put her wallet away.

Truth be told, I'm glad she didn't. It's been 18 years since she gave me that gift and we have used it every Christmas (except for two when I went the DIY route) since.

It has become one of kids' all time favorite symbols of the season. Oh the treats aren't large ~ they wouldn't fit inside anyway and now I stuff it with family activity ideas ~ and the dreamy picture I had so many years ago, wasn't always so picturesque.

There were fights about whose day it was to open the door or why we had to wait for everyone to get home, when the school schedules were different, but overall, it was pretty close.

And most importantly, every day when I pass by the house, every time I come up with ideas to stuff into it and each moment the doors open and I see that look of excitement on my now teenagers' faces, I think of my mom.

Advent Calendar Ideas for Christmas


Of her generous spirit.

Of her love of tradition, of Christmas and my family.

And mostly of that day we were able to spend shopping together with my brand new baby.

And I smile.

Every day until Christmas.

And that's the best countdown of all.



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48 comments:

  1. Hi Kim, such a beautiful tradition in your family and that sweet cottage is so charming. I can see why you were over the moon about it. The special part, it's from your mom and a treasure to be cherished always. Enjoy making memories and thank you for sharing this one.
    Have a great rest of the holiday weekend. xo

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    1. Thank you Celestina Marie. With mom in the nursing home this year, the memories take on an even more special meaning. I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend, as well! :)

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  2. Such a heartfelt story, and love the advent calendars too!

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    1. Thank you so much. This is really one of my best holiday memories...xo

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  3. "and that's what Christmas is all about Charlie brown." cherished memories.
    of love. not lots of things. a wonderful reminder and keepsake for sure dearest bean. ♥

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    1. My favorite Christmas line of all time, Tammy! How DID you know? xo

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  4. That was one of those "the gift that keeps on giving" times! : )

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  5. What a beautiful post, Kim! And a wonderful tradition. I still am not in the holiday mood yet...
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks Brenda...and it's slow, but I'm getting there!

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  6. Beautiful Kim. What a great tradition full of sweetness. Hugs to you.
    Kris

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    1. Thank you, Kris! Hug to you, too!

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  7. What a lovely way to bring back a nice memory every Christmas! It is a wonderful tradition and one that I have done all of my adult years. I even made a calender for my husband and son in themes that they love.

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    1. I think I enjoy stuffing it more than they enjoy getting the treats...maybe! Have fun with your calendar this year! :)

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  8. So sweet. Memories and traditions are what makes the holidays so special. You have definitely captured that!
    Tracy S.

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    1. Thank you, Tracy. I am glad you enjoyed this one...

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  9. Very cute calendar. I made one years ago but I was not very good about using it. I wonder if there is a way to do it long distance? I don't know if you have it all filled yet for this year but have you considered hauling it all to the nursing home and getting it ready for the season with your mom? Since she was along when it was purchased it might bring back memories for her as well.

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    1. That is an idea, Lorri. We could at least brainstorm together. My mom is so limited now, the disease has taken her ability to speak, focus, move, but she knows when I am with her…and maybe just being there together as I plan out loud will be soothing to us both. Thanks for the idea! You are always so intuitive. :)

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  10. Love the memories around this Hallmark treasure . . .
    Keeps life in some sweetness . . .
    You'll have to keep us posted as to what is behind each door . . .

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    1. Oh that's the magic question this year, Lynne...and I am running out of time! ;)

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  11. What precious memories you have! That's what's important, isn't it? Love your tradition. :)

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    1. Yes, the memories are very special, Lisa. I do cherish them…especially this sentimental time of year. :)

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  12. Very sweet! I never understood how my grandmother and mom could become so nostalgic during the holidays---but then I had not lost them then. The play of memories in our minds is so rich, it is hard to ignore if we have the time to pay attention. But, best antidote for that is too build memories for those growing up now, be they 4, 14, or 40. The well is deep, and needs to be filled. Thanks for the thoughtful post, just what I needed to put my finger on my mood today, Sandi

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    1. Thank you, Sandi...and you are right, building memories is the key, no matter your age! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. :)

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  13. As always, a post full of love, honesty and all that I love about Kim's writing style.
    Thank you friend.
    Carla

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    1. Thank you, Carla. I feel blessed to have people in my life who allow me to share when I “think out loud”. What a gift... xo

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  14. Your Advent Calendar House is enchanting and timeless, Kim. I think it's so sweet that your mother bought it for you and that your children grew up with it. Now that's a really meaningful tradition. Enjoy the season, my friend. Nancy

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    1. I had no idea back then how special it would become...I guess we never do, but I cherish the memory of shopping together more than anything. Oh to go back, just for a moment...xo

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  15. Your Advent Calendar will definitely be a great family keepsake! I recycled an old one of mine for this Holiday season and try to DIY it if I can. Last year I just did paper bags! But yes, I would love one of these someday in our home!

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    1. Vel, I think that the act of tradition is more important than the how...and DIY always rates high in my book! ;)

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  16. Kim, what a sweet way to be reminded of your mom but also to pass on to the next generation. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season. :)

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    1. Thank you, Stacey. It is a really sweet memento…

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  17. What a great tradition and a lovely way to remember your mom.

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    1. I read her the post last night at the nursing home…not sure what she still comprehends, but it was a nice moment of togetherness for both of us. :)

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  18. I love traditions too Kim and tend to have that sugarplum philosophy everyday of my life, so Christmas is my time of the year to let it go unbridled!
    Your Advent Calendar House is wonderfully magical!
    J.

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    1. Thank you, Jemma. Sugarplum philosophy...yes...I need to hold on to some of that! ;)

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  19. This really brought tears to my eyes. I gave away a lot of Christmas items as my children got older. I knew my nieces and nephews would enjoy them. At least I have the goofy ornaments they made in elementary school! It's all about the traditions and memories, right?

    Thanks for such a nice comment on my newspaper article. It means more than you know.

    Jane

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    1. Thank you, Jane. I cried a bit when I read it to my mom at the nursing home. It's funny, you never know where life takes you and what will become special along the way. Well, the goofy ornaments will always be treasured though. That's a given!! xo

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  20. This really is the most wonderful time of year, isn't it. All the special traditions we follow year after year, like your advent calendar -so sweet and a wonderful way to remember that special time with your mom. Wishing you a beautiful holiday season. xo

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    1. Thank you so much, Susan. Sending wonderful wishes right back to you! :)

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  21. What a fabulous way to keep Christmas traditions. I want to do this with my girl. It would be a special memory.

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    1. My kids love it, Vanessa, it's been a very special gift.

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  22. I can just picture how fun that was with you & your kids & your mama for making the purchase. Mine would have done it too. Gosh I miss her!

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    1. Special memories, Florence, that is for sure. :)

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  23. It's the moms that are the backbone of the family and who create traditions for us to eventually hand down to our own children. Merry Christmas dear friend. Such a very sweet post.

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    1. Agreed, Mary 100%. Merry Christmas to you, too...co

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  24. Beautiful, Nostalgic Holiday Rituals and Traditions are what MAKE the Holidays particularly poignant... and the Memories of Christmas Past of coarse. I always have the dashed Sugarplum Visions to some degree too, since the Crew here is more like Ozzy and Sharon than Ozzie and Harriet. *winks* Enjoying perusing your Archived Posts now that I've discovered your Wonderful Blog and writing style... Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. Dawn, your comment has truly made my day!! Thank you for the sweet words. This busy holiday season had kept me away from the comments for far too long and I am trying to catch up. I love your Ozzy and Sharon reference…you have no idea how well I get that! ;) I am so glad you are enjoying my words…knowing that really is the best present of all! :)

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