Kids, this year you can buy your own advent calendars. Love, Mom

Today, December 4th, 2017, I realized that I didn’t buy my kids an advent calendar. I also realized that I am okay with that.

Since I can remember, I’ve bought our children the cheap .99 advent calendars. You know, the ones with the not so great chocolate pieces behind the little tiny paper door that you could barely see the number on.

Each day, usually before breakfast, the kids, would come out of their rooms, scampering to the calendar with their name on it (we don’t share our advent chocolates) to open the tiny little door and pull out the tiny piece of not so great chocolate and inspect it. Most of the time we couldn’t even tell what the shape was meant to be. “Oh”, I’d say confidently while lying through my teeth. “It’s a bell!” or “It’s holly!” And they were satisfied enough to pop the little chocolate morsels in their mouths and eagerly await the same routine tomorrow.

There were years when we lived overseas and the two older kids lived in the US. Most years, I managed to get them all an advent calendar. They may have started on them a few days late but that just meant that they got to catch up. Imagine it! An entire mouthful of tiny pieces of not so great chocolate. YAY!

Some years they would start in on their tiny paper door openings late on purpose just SO they could catch up. Or the would “accidentally” eat one out of turn and have to get things back in order. (Well, the numbers were tiny.) Or they might eat them all in one or two days and then peer into the emptied tiny little paper doors each day until Santa came.

Last year in England, I splurged and bought them all calendars that contained really good chocolate (because getting bad chocolate in England was a foodie crime I wasn’t going to commit). They even had a bar of chocolate up at the top with their name personalized on it.

I went out in a blaze of glory!

Well, I hope they remember that one forever because this year I forgot! I didn’t even think about it. I’ve seen them, talked about them, walked passed them in multiple stores, and not once, NOT ONCE, did it occur to me to pick up a handful of those .99 cent flats with ill-numbered, tiny paper doors and unrecognizeable chocolate pieces.

There have been multiple areas recently where I have found myself unconsciously embracing these empty nest years and having adult children. Not worrying about buying them advent calendars is one of them.

I’m not sure if they’ll carry on the cheap chocolate advent calendar tradition in their families or not. It’s okay if they do and it’s okay if they don’t.

I want to give our adult kids the space to create and embrace their own traditions with their families. (click to tweet)

So, kids, this year you can buy your own advent calendars. But only if you want to.
Love, Mom

And now, I just realized that I saved about $6. That’s enough to buy me some really good chocolate, I think. I’m a new fan of the Caramel M&M’s. $6 will buy a couple bags of those!

Advent Calendar

Nothers, how are you doing this holiday season? Are you embracing the change? Are you passing the baton? If not, I encourage you to. This can be a really hard time for us moms as we adjust to taking that next step of letting our kids go and do their thing. It’s sometimes so hard for us to watch them let go of something we held dear. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we did things differently than our parents did too. We started our own new traditions when we left home. But we also kept some and I think our kids will too. I’m hoping you will let your adult children “buy their own advent calendars” too and then go buy yourself something yummy instead. #perks

8 thoughts on “Kids, this year you can buy your own advent calendars. Love, Mom

  1. I have never bought them an advent calendar! First, while i was a churchgoer, I wasn’t a true Christian when they were little. Many churches we’ve been to don’t do advent, so I thought it was a Catholic thing (how I was raised). But I even see some non-Christian friends doing it??!! Now that they’re older, I’m doing something else, and not for Christmas but for next year.


    1. I grew up in the same type of church so the advent adventure has been a good one for me. As to the non-Christian friends doing advent related activities, everything is marketable these days but God is sovereign over it all and His gospel is never in vain. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Thank you for stopping by!


  2. Super well written! I love that you went out in a blaze of glory. I’m certain your children will want to keep some of your family’s traditions going. They’ll remember.


  3. Thank God for you, Andrea, and for the grace He’s given you to smoothly transition into this season of your life. I pray the same grace for those who aren’t coping so well in Jesus’ name.


    1. Oh goodness… there’s really nothing smooth about this transition for me. Blog posts are but a soundbite of our lives. It’s impossible to love our children for 18+ years and then not feel pieces of our hearts tearing away as they walk away. I think this is why it surprised me so much when I hadn’t even thought about buying them the annual advent calendar that I had done for some many years. I saw this as encouraging and hope to share this encouragement with others. I join you in praying for grace for all of us who are transitioning to living a different way. May God fill the empty spaces of our hearts.


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