Advent Party: John and I hosted a party for our friends and we made paper chains to countdown the days till Christmas. It was fun to have a big crowd at our house! John didn't really get the idea of ripping off the chains each day... maybe next year!
Advent Calendar: Last year (2009), Grandma and Grandpa St.Hilaire gave John an Advent calendar that has a piece of the Nativity scene for each day. It took a little time and discipline, but he quickly learned to take the piece out of the pocket and place place it on the scene above. I also put a candy cane kiss in each pocket - which he enjoyed very much. It wasn't long before he knew what the words "Advent calendar" meant. Whenever I said those words he would get a huge grin on his face and run to it!
Waiting: This year we made a concerted effort to hold off on our celebrations until Christmas. As a child, I was always hauling out the boxes of our family's decorations the day after Thanksgiving. So waiting was a challenge for me. I wasn't sure if we would just hold off on our tree or on all decorations, until I recognized that our church does not decorate at all until Christmas Eve. I want our home to reflect the church, so I decided it would be best to only have our Advent calendar and wreath out until Christmas Eve.
The best part of waiting to get the tree is that we got our tree for a dollar at Rite Aid!! It is still standing proudly in our living room, but we will be taking it down later today and putting all our decorations away. I definitely was very excited to put it up on Christmas Eve, but it made for a very busy day... Andrew and I may do it differently next year. It is fun figuring out how we want to celebrate these holidays in our own family.