When L & D were toddlers, like most kids they had a difficult time with the concept of time….”Is my Birthday tomorrow?”… “Are we going on vacation today?”… “When is Santa coming?”. So early on I came up with an idea to help them figure out time through visual cues. At Christmas I strung a line of mittens. I filled each mitten with a surprise, much like an advent calendar. Each day we took down a mitten and opened the surprise. This was also a great tool when they were learning to count.
In the past years, I have mostly added candy or a small toy to the mitten. I am not a big fan of candy or using candy as a prize or gift, there are so many more options available. With that said, I despise all the little plastic, useless toys that fit perfectly into the mittens.
As a parent, I am learning and correcting my parenting skills, approach and traditions constantly. But, the one thing that has held steady is my philosophy, goals, morals and beliefs that I feel is important fort them to learn.
The commercialism of the holidays saddens me. I have never participated in the madness of Black Friday. I love that time with my family too much to waste it, just to get a ‘good deal’. A few years ago, as an antidote to Black Friday, I chose that day to stay home with L&D and use that time to make presents for friends and family. L&D now look forward to this.
This year I am challenging myself with the ‘garland of mittens’. There will not be candy or cheap toys. This year, only memories. Each day L&D will open the mitten to find a new adventure, that brings us closer, and and adds to our treasure of family memories. After all, When they are adults, will they say “oh I remember that chocolate kiss, that was such a memorable moment”, I doubt it. But I hope they will say “I remember driving through the neighborhood, sipping hot coco and looking at the lights with my family”.
I challenge you to do the same with your family, whether you have small children, grandchildren or just a partner that brings you joy…take this time to create some great memories.