Friday, December 19, 2008

Counting Down

Another one of the best things about Christmas is the anticipation. My boys are jiggling out of their skin with excitement and frustration and hysteria and agitation as they dwell on the concept that Christmas isn't here yet and they still have to wait six more days. It's absolutely hilarious to watch.

So, we count down. There are lots of fun ways to count down to Christmas. We have two, both deep-seated traditions from my childhood.

First, the pocket calendar. The one I grew up with was homemade, by my mother, at a church homemaking night years before I was born (shown here with my two older sisters).

The concept is simple-- every day you take an ornament out of that day's pocket and pin it on the tree. I absolutely loved this when I was a kid. So I wanted one for my kids and I was elated when I found one a couple years back in a catalog.

It's not very good quality, but my kids adore it.

Our other calendar was also made by my mother, my amazing, brilliant, frugal, creative mother. She never could bear to throw Christmas cards away but after many years of marriage they were stacking up and getting in the way. There must be something I can do with all these old cards, she thought.

Her solution was a page-a-day advent calendar with each page containing an old Christmas card showing some aspect of the Christmas season along with a poem she wrote on the subject. My mother is a very good writer and the poems are charming. They cover every December activity in varying forms of verse, from picking out and decorating the tree to holiday baking to putting on a Nativity pageant. Reusable number stickers make it so the pages can be changed around from year to year. If you have a certain activity planned for a certain day you can make sure the poem for that day is on that subject.

I love this calendar so much that when I was typing up the poems this year in order to reprint some damaged pages I started crying as I was typing. This calendar so typifies my wonderful mother and I can imagine it carrying on her legacy for years and years after she's gone. Her great-grandchildren will grow to know and love her because will they know and love these simple, beautiful Christmas poems.

Aw man, I just love Christmas. Excuse me while I go join my boys in wriggling out of my skin in anticipation...

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1 comment:

The Hills said...

Anticipation? More like dread for me. I haven't wrapped a single thing. John hasn't done his Christmas shopping, a typical guy. Oh, and the thing that is least anticipated is playing for the choir in church.

Want to do it for me?

Your enthusiasm would make up for my lack thereof. It would be easy. I am sure Badger could just fly you over for a couple of hours.

Ahhh...wishful thinking.