I'm loving the rhythm of our Advent calendar. It's just right for Lucy right now. She remembers every morning, and figures out which tag should come out next.
We read it in pajamas.
The finished tags pile up in a bowl on our dining room table. (Toddler tip: if you don't want something mangled, designate a special place for it to go. Now she wants to put it in the bowl, rather than carry it around with her.)
Sometimes, the activity is as simple as adding a plant to our creche scene, and re-arranging the rocks to make space. (I LOVE the way Lucy arranged the rocks here. The symmetry at the entrance to the stable, the graduated rocks... oh, she's my daughter for sure!)
Most of the time, what the tag says is not a surprise. She likes to know what's coming, and we talk and make plans all the time, so it wouldn't work to try to keep events secret.
It doesn't matter. The ritual of it all makes it special.
(Think Sinterklaas' horse will mind some dried lily leaves in lieu of hay?)
Here we are, preparing for tomorrow's plan: gifts for our neighbors.
It didn't go well. There was a bit of a measuring-ingredients snaffu, which, when combined with a 2-hours-in-the-fridge wait time, meant only 4 cookies were successfully made this evening. Oh, well. We ate them ourselves on special Christmas-y plates and called it a success.
Somehow, the simple act of using this Advent calendar has helped us (grown ups) to slow down and appreciate all the little parts that together prepare us for Christmas, rather than losing the magic of it all in the rush rush rush to get it all done. I hope we can maintain this more-sane pace for the rest of the season!