Ever since I can remember I have had an advent calendar every holiday season to help me countdown those 25 long December days until Christmas. I remember the joy of opening the little cardboard window each night to get both a piece of chocolate and reassurance that Christmas was a day closer. And even though I have been old enough to use a calendar not made of candy to keep track of the days for quite some time, I still get one each year.
It may seem childish and unnecessary, but it is a ritual. And holidays are all about rituals and tradition. And the great thing about being a grown-up is that, while you get to carry on those traditions passed down to you by your parents and family, you also get to make your own. Are you going to be a household that celebrates multiple holidays? Do you prefer cocoa or eggnog by the fire? Will you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Which holiday movie is one you have to watch no matter what?
Now I don’t know what traditions I will pick and choose to make my own over the years. But I know right now that I love my advent calendar. I love that it is socially acceptable to start listening to Christmas music now (even if you have been playing the channel on Pandora for a month already). I love that candy and trees are all around. And I love that even in LA people are super jazzed about the holiday season.
So for the rest of the Grown-Up Christmas Countdown let’s talk about grown-up ways to celebrate the holidays. And childish ways that we all agree are acceptable as well.
Also, I bought this year’s advent calendar at Dylan’s Candy Bar. If you don’t have one nearby, you can order it here (on sale for $10 this Cyber Monday).