Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Advent-a-palooza

When we were growing up we had the same advent calendar every year. December 1st was always a picture of a Christmas pudding (I'm sure my Mum is looking at that very calendar right this minute thinking, *wow* she's right, maybe we should have splashed out on a new calendar every five years or so).

Times have changed, and also, this is America. No Christmas puddings, but also no cardboard advent calendars. Anna has a deluxe wooden model with individual doors begging to be stuffed with treats. Thanks to her ever-indulgent Nani, and the fact we thought she'd forgotten this year and had also bought a mini treat for each door, every day is opened to reveal a miniature cornucopia. Today she got a chocolate Santa, a plastic pig and a tiny wooden angel for the tree.

























This isn't going to be a post about spoiling your children, or about American largess, mostly because I love Christmas and I'm absolutely crackers about advent calendars (opening the same doors, and alternating days with my brother year after year only served to pique my excitement it appears).

What I want to write about is Anna's face when she eats candy. Something I want to put down on paper before she grows up and I forget forever. I should really work on taking a photo. I love the fact that candy for her is tantamount to a religious experience. Too many of us grab a chocolate and wolf it down whilst absorbed with something else. When Anna unwraps and eats a candy, time stands still. Her whole face transparent with enjoyment and concentration, radiating happiness. You can practically see her tastebuds firing. I know that very soon she'll grow out of this phase, that candy will be gobbled down like a dog ploughing through it's dinner, but as I steadily inflate with each passing pregnant day, I will try and remember how she savours every second of chocolately goodness, and try to do likewise instead of absent-mindedly inhaling a packet of Trader Joes Peppermint O's whilst cooking dinner.

I also love the fact that nothing, nothing, will get a 3 year old out of bed on a school day faster than reminding her that she gets to open another door on her advent calendar. I know most of you have normal children who rise with the sun, but my child was doomed by her genetics and will happily sleep til 9 (unless it's a Sunday of course, then she's all sunshine and 'look Mummy morning is here').

9 comments:

Ali said...

That's lovely,I hope she is able to savour it as a special experience for a good while yet.

Expat mum said...

You're right about the candy. We have a very nice fabric Advent calendar, where you take a fabris animal or something and put it in the dated pocket. It's virutallu ignored now because there's no treat! I must get a "proper" one from somewhere next year.

ExpatKat said...

What a lovely advent calendar. I get ours cardboard ones with the chockies in, from Cost Plus World Market. You have to get them at the beginning of November because they sell out very quickly. That European chocolate is sooo popular!

Anonymous said...

Sophie still goes thru those same expressions when eating chocolate so I'd say you have got a few ears left of watching Anna experience pure bliss! Love, Jennifer

Trannyhead said...

I want you to know that despite growing up in America, I had a crappy cardboard Advent calendar. And I remember carefully going through the calendar and eating some of the chocolate out of it and then carefully replacing the window. Then I told my parents that something was "broken' with the calendar and that it was mysteriously missing chocolates ... *snort*

Hyphen Mama said...

I have been aching to get my kids the wooden one that can be reused year after year. I looked and looked (not very well apparently) then settled on a cardboard one with chocolates. THEN one hour later found a dozen perfect wooden ones. Next year.

Janet said...

Hi Ali, long time no see. Thanks for stopping by my blog and reminding me that I haven't dropped by here in ages. I couldn't believe that you had to eat stir-fry for Christmas dinner, that's sacrilege.:-)

Lovely post, you really must try and capture a photo of Anna with her chocs.

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