The advent of the advent calendar-free Xmas

advent calender

The Boy-child’s Advent Calendar 2017. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Image: Su Leslie 2017

Advent Calendars weren’t part of my Presbyterian upbringing; so I was largely unaware of them until the boy-child was little and he began to receive as gifts the kind with little chocolates behind each window. Then a cousin sent him a lovely quilted version with numbered pockets to be filled with goodies.

Despite its Winnie the Pooh fabric, the Calendar remained in use until my son left home, and probably would still be pressed into service except that I can’t find it.


The boy-child’s advent calendar; made by a cousin and given to him when he was four. Image: Su Leslie

For the last couple of years I sought alternative solutions; the row of goodie bags that could be hung in a flat bedroom, a box with numbered envelopes.

I’m not sure whether it’s a lack of imagination or a general ambivalence towards Christmas, but this year we’re going calendar-free and I wonder if he will even notice.

Ragtag Daily Prompt | calendar

52 thoughts on “The advent of the advent calendar-free Xmas

  1. Advent calendars weren’t really part of my upbringing and they haven’t caught on yet in Korea either, but I do like the idea of them and have adopted the tradition as an adult. Let us know if your son notices the lack of the calendar this year! Hehe

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Never had one, never bought one for any of my kids, and the only thing I am counting down to is the 22 December and the winter solstice! Now that’s a cause for celebration here in the northern hemisphere πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve always enjoyed looking at them (those without candy, but with little windows with some pictures inside). It was never something I owned, but I liked looking at those at my friends’ homes.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, how we would have preferred chocolate to what were behind the little doors! It was always something like ‘help your classmate’ or ‘say a prayer for someone in need.’ Sometimes it was a picture of a little barnyard animal. The last door was always the manger scene. And, in class, we used to fight over who said the most prayers! Yeah, that’s the Christmas spirit, kids! πŸ˜€ Pass the chocolate, Su….

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  4. Hehe, I bet he will. I’ve made Advent Calendars for my kids and Grandkids since primary school and at 26, 23 and 21 and scattered around the country, they still love getting them. It makes them feel close to home. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop but then I have to admit, I get a kick out of making them too.

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  5. I don’t think you got chocolate in them in my youth. We were Methodists and Advent Calendars seemed entirely acceptable, but as others have mentioned all you got on opening the wee door was a religious picture, culminating in a manger scene in the last one. A friend used to sew advent calendars for her daughters then wonder why she never had any time. As a non-parent I was probably unsatisfactorily unsympathetic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I have so been that mother! And no matter how much I knew it was crazy, I kept on making work for myself. I think the combination of perfectionism, and trying to be the mother I would have liked is an exhausting one. I can see how crazy it must look.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t grow up with Advent calendars either. I guess with 5 kids, my mother thought it was excessive.

    Nor did I feel inclined to have them for my sons. It just never came up as something important. It’s funny that son #1 has for years decorated his own home with a calendar very similar to the one in your first photo – the little bags attached to a wire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How cool. I liked the hanging version too, but the boy-child didn’t much.
      Have you seen the craft beer Advent Calendars? Part of me thinks β€œ24 beers β€” what’s not to like?” But then I think β€œhow much?” and wonder if we could get much further from the actual point of Advent calendars.

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  7. When I was a kid I always had an Advent calendar. πŸ˜„ The first ones only showed little pictures behind the doors, like Christmas trees and animals. Then chocolate became a thing but I never liked the taste of the chocolate inside them – I was a pretty spoiled only-child. πŸ˜‰ So my mum made her own calendars for me. 😊 It stopped when I was in my teens though. It’s funny that you say you’re not doing one for the boy-child this year because I’m doing one for my mum!! πŸ˜„ Two days before December she mentioned that I made one for her when I was a kid and how much she loved it. It wasn’t a hint, just said because of all the adverts all around. But I went into complete overdrive right then and managed to make and fill one in just one day!! πŸ˜„ I was pretty exhausted afterwards. πŸ˜‚ Instead of chocolates I chose all the things I know she likes and some healthy stuff too, like vitamins and little fruit juice bottles etc. I think I mainly did it because she had a hard time lately and I wanted for her to feel a little joy at least once a day. So far it seems to have worked. 😊 Did the boy-child notice??


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