Now that I am back at home full time with the kiddos, I sometimes read the blogs I grew to love before I went back to work. The other day, I read an especially timely post about the contentious wife. Timely, because I don't know anyone who gets it all done when there is a newborn in the house, and timely, because I am so hard on myself about creating the family experience of the future. What I mean by this is that I have a vision of what I want our family to be - memories, traditions, etc. - but I expect myself to have created this NOW. How can this be? Not only are we only three Christmases into being parents, I will stifle the Spirit in our household if I pick a bunch of random traditions now, refusing to adjust to personalities, likes, dislikes, and new finds in the future.
Case in point: the Advent Calendar. Last year, I asked my mom to knit me twenty-five mittens so I could make an Advent Calendar - a garland hanging over our dining table with mittens full of candy and gifts to count down the days to Jesus' birth. I was going to sew numbers on the mittens and attach a pom-pom to each one so they can be thrown over the garland. She completed the mittens, but due to a mailing snafu with Bryan's travel schedule, said mittens were not in the house until December 8. No pom-poms, and I hadn't even stuffed the mittens yet.
At first, I was going to scrap the whole thing for this year; Lee would not have known what an Advent Calendar was unless I told him, right? But then I read the post, and decided to stop fighting with myself. I stuffed those mittens, threw them in a snowman gift bag, and set them on the table for breakfast the next morning. May I say the snowman was a huge hit, the first mitten's gift was a huge hit, and now, Lee keeps telling me Christmas is the day Jesus gets here.
Who cares that we have only fifteen days of Advent in the Hardman house this year? We will not have missed the point in our short celebration, and there is always next year to hang the thing up and go all out with Advent.
And, please know, the adults have their own little Advent "calendar" hidden in the pantry...