As much as I love all the decorations and shopping, for me at least, the best part of Christmas has always been the anticipation. I think waiting and longing is perhaps the best part of Christmas. When Grandad and I got married, I discovered that his family actually opens their presents on Christmas Eve. I was appalled! I immediately set him straight and we've always opened our gifts on Christmas morning.
Over the years we've used various methods of counting down to Christmas. We've had advent calendars where you lift the flap and read a verse every day, tiny boxes with candy treats for each day, and an advent wreath with candles to light before dinner every night and a short devotional to help understand the true meaning of the approaching holiday.
This is the advent calendar that I sewed from a pre-printed fabric when the kids were little. Every year on December 1st, it replaced the curtain on our back door. Nick and Katy would take turns moving the little bear all over the house as he "looked for Christmas." After Nick left for college I decided not to put it up one year. It was the first thing Nick looked for when he got home that year. I had to dig it out of the closet and put it in place immediately. It now hangs in the entry way of Nick and Marie's home in Houston.
This year for Thanksgiving, our family met in Houston at Nick's house. This is the year that neither of our children will be home for Christmas, so we thought it was important to get together at Thanksgiving. And, we planned a Friday trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival in Magnolia. Unfortunately Nick had to stay on an oil rig and we only got to see him for a few minutes on Saturday night.
Perhaps the toughest part of holidays once your kids grow up and get married is that you have to share them with their in-laws. This year, Nick and Marie will travel to El Paso for Christmas with Marie's family. Katy and Travis (and Our Little Princesses) will spend Christmas with Travis' family. In the years when we don't see them for Christmas, I think it's even more important to try to help build the excitement for the little ones. This year, Hallmark is helping do that. As they were leaving for the drive home on Saturday evening after Thanksgiving, we gave each of Our Princesses a Hallmark Interactive Greeting Card that has a countdown clock.
Princess E also received a "My Wish List" card so she can record her list to send to Santa. The girls are enjoying checking every day to see how many more days until Santa comes.
You may remember that I made the girls their very own advent calendar a couple of years ago. It's made of little magnetized spice canisters that hold candy treats and Christmas prizes. They love it, but it's not something they can hold and carry around with them. These cards are more tangible for them. They each have their own card and they can take it wherever they want. That's especially fun for Our Littlest Princess. You know how little ones want to hold and carry things are they toddle around.
It's not too late for you to get in on the Countdown to Christmas. Hallmark will give one of Grams' readers a holiday greeting pack which includes:
- An Interactive Recordable Greeting
- An Interactive Countdown Greeting
- An assortment of additional boxed and Signature Collection greetings
*Disclosure: Hallmark provided me with a holiday greeting card pack to review and one for this giveaway. The review and comments are all mine.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.