Lately, I've been thinking about the tiny things that help to make the holidays special for a child. I know that nothing can quite compete with the excitement of Santa and Christmas morning and I'm not looking to de-throne the big man. But some of my best holiday memories are the little things that went along with Santa: the lovely paper advent calendar my sister and I opened each day in December, the Christmas eve snowball treat, the fresh, cool evergreen smell of the Christmas tree. As an adult, these moments mean as much to me as the shiny bike or the smiling doll that I received one year. So I try to create small moments of pleasure to go along with the big. One of those small moments comes from JT's advent calendar.
When JT was three years old, some friends sent him a beautiful advent calendar. It's a real marvel; a lovely wooden box that contains a small drawer for each day before Christmas, a total of 24 in all.
Its annual appearance on the 1st of December is one of the very first signs that Christmas is coming. The calendar may be filled with treats for JT, but it's one of the holiday traditions that I enjoy the most. I look for tiny toys or Christmas ornaments to fit in some of the boxes. Other boxes have a note with a little treat: extra reading time at night; a trip to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast; an invitation to play a game on a weeknight. JT is always excited to see what prize the day's tiny box holds.
And it must be noted that the one thing that this advent calendar guarantees is a boy eager to get out of bed with lightening speed each morning. That is a miracle of its own kind