First off, my parents would be quick to point out that Advent this year does not begin today. It actually started last Sunday, the 28th. If my father were feeling especially Scrooge-ish, he might also mention that "Advent Calendars" as we now know them have very little to do with observing Advent, and much more to do with counting down the days until Santa Claus shows up.
All of which is true.
We didn't really have lots of Advent calendars when I was growing up, not because my da was a Scrooge--which, sometimes, he is--but more because we were busy with other things in December. There were a few years that we had the little cardboard calendars with tiny chocolates behind each door. And of course, we made a couple of those kindergarten-style paper chains that spanned the living room, cutting off one of the links every day until just one remained.
Really, though, my interest in Advent calendars has been fairly recent. Last year, my man got us a Playmobil calendar, which, while full of forestland goodies, was a little hard to come by. This year, you might be able to find it on Amazon, but you'll be paying forty or fifty dollars for it.
This year, I'm much more taken with handmade calendars. If all this talk is putting you in the mood to make a calendar for your house, there are some cute ideas here, and here, and here. This one might be hard to throw together at the last minute, but I thought it was charming, too.
As for me, I'm doing my counting down right here. Each day, from now 'til Christmas, I'll be posting a little something-or-other to share with you. I hope you'll check back regularly for recipes, projects, gift ideas, and a few other surprises.
I'd also like to invite you to share your holiday ideas with us. In the comments for each day's post, feel free to add your thoughts or link to something you think other Sparrow readers would enjoy.
And with that, let Advent not-so-officially begin...
And speaking of calendars, some of you probably recognize the one at the top of this post. If you haven't ordered your 2011 Nikki McClure calendar yet, there's still time...