This past weekend my children were packing for a weekend away at the grandparents, while the husband and I were packing for a weekend away with each other. (Best Christmas present we give ourselves every year.) As my daughter contemplated what to bring (she comes by her over packing tendencies naturally), she began to stress over her advent calendars.
Does she take them with her?
Does she open them early, since she would be gone one full day of advent?
Does she open them late?
Is Christmas ruined?
Did you happen to catch the part where I said advent calendars? Yes, my children have multiple calendars they open each morning in December helping them countdown the days until Christmas. We usually try and purchase them each a Lego Advent Calendar as an early Christmas present (except for the years in which I forget to buy these cursed things in October and panic when they become terribly overpriced by Thanksgiving). Both kids also have a 99 cent chocolate advent from Trader Joes (Again…purchase early. Stores sell out pre-Thanksgiving. I purchased so many when they were released the cashier half-jokingly asked if I was reselling them on Facebook. I told him I only do that with Hatchimals. These festive chocolates were for our various homeschool co-ops, thankyouverymuch.)
(And I do not really do that with Hatchimals because I did not know they were a thing until too late)
If you are counting, so far my daughter is up to two advent calendars: the Lego and the chocolate. Last year right before Christmas the husband and I stumbled up a Nutcracker-themed charm bracelet Advent calendar (Open a box each day and get a charm) drastically reduced in price at Neiman Marcus. We snatched it up and stored it away for this year.
That is now three advent calendars.
Finally, the girl crafted a calendar of good deeds at church a few weeks ago. This is similar to the old school paper chain of yesteryears. Every day she pulls off a chain and performs the good deed. She was quite proud of herself for making one of those good deeds read, “Be kind to Mommy.” I did not question why that was not a daily occurrence for her.
See her delimia? The girl has FOUR advents to maintain on a daily basis. A mere weekend away makes everything askew.
Christmas time is magical. City streets glow with festive lights. Radio stations blare carols 24/7. Commercials are jolly as people frolic in the snow in their newly purchased luxury SUV.
Yet sometimes we are left feeling exhausted, frantic, and bit sad.
Questioning how in the world we are going to maintain things like four advent calendars (or crazy shopping lists or 27 school holiday events or the laundry) while merrily counting down 24 days until Christmas…
If this is you, understand I am right there with you. I struggle between finding the joy of the season and not letting the pace of the season completely tackle me and leave me stranded in a sea of wrapping paper, half-eaten peppermint bark, and an abandoned list of all the holiday movies I must watch this year.
Follow along with me this week as I discuss ways to Save Your Christmas, helping your family fight free from the stress of the holidays and find ways to simply enjoy the season. I have some giveaways to share as well as some opportunities to keep up with casa de phillips in the new year.
If you are looking for ways to carve out more JOY and less busy as we near December 25th, hopefully this little piece of the internet will help you in this task.
At the very least it just reminded you to purchase Lego advent calendars early next year.