The color scheme in my home is well-suited to autumn decorations - perhaps that is the reason I am never in a hurry to put those fall-colored things away. It is usually at least a day or two into December when I pack up the last of the pumpkins and the pilgrims, and remember to put up the Advent Calendar.
When my children were very young, I purchased a felt wall-hanging of a Nativity scene. Small cloth camels, stars, sheep, Wise Men, and so forth reside in numbered pockets at the bottom of it all year long. For each of the first 24 days of December, one of these is supposed to be adhered to a Velcro spot in or near the stable, creating a complete Nativity scene by Christmas day. The task of placing these figures used to be taken very seriously by my kids - so much so, that at the end of the holiday season I would record whose turn it would be the following year to place baby Jesus in the manger. Every parent knows how important it is to be sure that life is fair!
The scene on this wallhanging is a little different than ours, but it is very similar.
When my efforts to haul out, unfurl and hang this cloth countdown to Christmas day were tardy, I used to feel guilty. My kids never seemed to mind catching up with the date by taking several of their turns all at once, but I always felt badly for short-changing them a few of the days of magical Christmas anticipation.
This year, surprisingly, I am doing things more or less on-time. Not long after this article is published today, I will put away the Thanksgiving decorations and begin to set out the Christmas ones. Perhaps the reason for my new-found holiday promptness is because my kids are now grown, and I have more time to be organized. However, I suspect it's simply due to my acute awareness that my days of sharing the wonder of these treasured traditions with my excited children have come to an end.
The Advent calendar will still be placed in its usual spot, and my heart will reminisce a little about the tiny hands that used to move the figures. My 18-year old son, in his last year of living at home before college, will no doubt humor me and occasionally pick a spot for a cloud, a cow, or perhaps an angel. Maybe my husband will take a turn or two. When my 21-year old daughter comes home from college for the holidays, she and her brother will most likely honor tradition and take turns completing the Nativity scene this year. I suspect, however, that it will be mostly up to me throughout December to keep the Advent calendar up-to-date.
I've always felt like there should be more than 30 days in November - it's just too short of a month before December. I also believe that kids grow up too quickly; like the 30 days of November, those childhood years are over much too fast as well.
|Kids grow up much too quickly - but they are still pretty fun even after they do!|
Does December sneak up on you?
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