In England, the "Advent calendar" was always a big deal. When my sister and I were kids, it was a little door that we had to open each day to reveal a picture, and even that was exciting back then. That progressed into a chocolate treat each day, and we thought that was about as good as it gets. But then, one year, my sister made me an even cooler calendar. She filled a box with 24 little gifts hidden under some kind of packing material. Each gift was attached by a string to its numbered day of the month. It was a great idea, and that's usually what I try to reproduce in some form or another for my own kids. This year, we bought a pack of 24 Lego superheroes, which are each wrapped up with a number on them. The kids are so excited (to the point that we have to shout at them to get them to shut up about it!!!!!), and it has really kicked off the season.
For some reason, I am feeling especially festive this year, and am almost as excited as the kids. We put the tree up, and turning on its lights each evening fills the dining room with a warm and fuzzy glow. I've already bought and wrapped up a present for each of the teachers, and for all the kids in the class I teach at school. We've been making decorations to put up in each of the kids' classrooms (the moms will be getting together this week to decorate them). We've been baking lots of cookies, and we eat them while watching Christmas movies!
It's strange, but when it was just Abe and I, we really didn't celebrate Christmas, and I didn't miss it at all. Now though, with the kids at just the right age, all the joy and excitement have come flooding back. Gotta love this season.