Like last year, we used our Advent Calendar. And I have to be honest - there were plenty of days we forgot to check the envelope until just before bed, leaving it impossible to enjoy the experience inside. Often we shifted, moved things around, and doubled up. But it still helped us to be mindful of the season and do the things that were most important to us.
One of the usual hits was our annual visit to Santa. Usually it is accompanied by an hour-long line and lots of hard work to keep spirits up. This year we walked in...and no one was there. The boys went right in and sat next to Santa, and to be honest, I think we were all a little surprised and unprepared! The boys did remember to ask for the top gift on their list. Max asked for the Lego Harbor set and Luke asked for a cloth baby doll with legs (his favorite baby is in a bunting and therefore has no legs). Santa was kind and the boys enjoyed their visit, and Dan and I were thrilled with the speed of the whole thing.
Another favorite is the annual trip to Zoolights. After a week of beautiful, sunny weather, our night to go was the first rainy day. It absolutely worked in our favor - it was so quiet! We walked right in, didn't have to wait for the train, and even had dinner there without a wait. The boys loved the lights, and we reveled in how much easier this holiday event is now that the boys are a little older.And the rain? Barely a mist.
A new addition to out advent calendar was family game night in front of the fire. Dan started a big fire, each boy chose a game, and we sat down to play. Max chose Sequence and Luke chose Candyland. The boys worked hard on their sportsmanship, and I got stomped in Candyland! Game playing is something they are both really enjoying right now, and it's fun to have some that we can all play successfully together.
As you can tell, December has been a joyful time in our household. We didn't get to everything we hoped, but feel very satisfied with the things we did do. The opportunity to be thoughtful about enjoying the season is just what I love about Advent. It makes me wonder about a regular (but not daily) set of envelopes with everyday kinds of fun. Hmmmmm...I may have to get on that...
I hope that your holiday season has been wonderful in the ways that work best for you!