Welcome to the month of the crazies here at Hyper Child Chill Mom. We have parties, presents, concerts, wrapping, shopping, more parties, end of the year celebrations, candy, cookies, raffles, decorating everything with SPARKLES and glittering lights, more candy, drinks, laughter, and don’t forget the all-important Christmas dinner. We must get our Christmas tree up and decorated.
Father-in-law (the grump who resides in my basement) is up and out the door decorating the outside of our humble home…one of the reasons our electric bill doubles in December. The kids help him some, but the sounds of grips and grumbles the whole time he is up the ladder and arranging the lights is heard throughout the neighborhood. Blue ones on this tree, green…no no white on this one.
This year will be the second year without Hubbies mom. She was the one who made Christmas time special, first for her boys, then her grandkids, then me and my children. I never had a large Christmas until I moved here with hubby. And she made sure I had a great Christmas every year. So much so that she would go into debt every year, and dig herself out for the next two months. I remember the first Christmas I moved here. They had decorated for a month before Christmas. A huge village taking up one whole side of the living room, the other corner a large tree filling up half a wall, each side out from the corner. They had to remove the couch from the living room. Everyone was stuck sitting on the floor. It was amazing. I was up bright and early, yelling at everyone to get up, I was so excited. I had never seen so many presents under a tree. It took hours to open them. Everyone taking turns, reading out who it was from. And they were not a wealthy family. And everyone got presents they loved and hated. And each year was the same. No matter how ill she got, she took care of us and made sure we all got what we wanted. Even her last Christmas with us, she got us each something special to remember her by.
So this year we have decided to make it extra special. We usually get ordinary things for Advent Calendars. This year I got the girls special ones, unique to their tastes. AJ got a Davids tea one. A special tea every day for 24 days. Nicole got a Littlest Pet Shop one, with new accessories and pets for 24 days.
And with these bigger advent calendars, I wanted to explore what an advent calendar means. Here are a few facts I discovered:
* Advent means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
*It dates back to at least 567 when monks were ordered to fast during December leading up to Christmas.
*In medieval and pre-medieval times, in parts of England, there was an early form of Nativity scenes called ‘advent images’ or a ‘vessel cup’. They were a box, often with a glass lid that was covered with a white napkin, that contained two dolls representing Mary and the baby Jesus. The box was decorated with ribbons and flowers (and sometimes apples). They were carried around from door to door. It was thought to be very unlucky if you haven’t seen a box before Christmas Eve! People paid the box carriers a halfpenny to see the box.
How interesting. I’m sure everyone enjoys the candy or treasures they receive, but I wonder how many know the true meaning anymore. I am showing our children more festive ways to celebrate this year…besides just the getting of the presents. They are doing a wonderful job so far. Already making mine and Hubbies gifts. We already volunteer at the animal shelter. And they are enjoying festive activities. I am almost completely finished, so I can sit back and enjoy the holidays myself. Take lots of photos. Chill inside while the kids decorate the tree, with some candy cane hot chocolate.
What are some of your festive activities you are looking forward to this December?
Chill Mom Julia
Infomation on advent Calanadars provided by