Monday, December 1, 2008

Panic Attack #3: Advent Schmadvent

So, this one is half my fault and half their fault. My fault, because I don't know how to plan ahead. Their fault, because they are ungrateful, spoiled little so-and-so's. 

A few years ago, genius here was on the lookout for new ideas that would eventually become family traditions. You see, the only true traditions I have to pass down are 1) fighting while trimming the tree, 2) fighting while decorating the house, and 3) fighting while opening presents. You can see why I am in need...

Well, a cute little advent calendar caught my eye, and I thought, "Gee, here's a fun and easy way to make Christmas last an entire month!" Before you even ask, no, I had not been smoking crack.  

Oh, the boys were quite pleased. At first. Very quickly the little knick-knacks weren't cutting it and I was forced to up the ante. Then, the age old problem of the tooth fairy arose. You know what I am talking about... The tooth fairy is caught without change and has to leave a $5 under the pillow and life for the fairy becomes increasingly more expensive. Well, in my tardiness to secure the daily gift, I had to grab something quick (and coincidentally, valuable). There was no turning back at that point. Expectations rise exponentially at my house.

To make matters worse (See? I can acknowledge my own role in the nightmare), I thought it would be "neat" to write a little poem with a cute little piece of clip art, telling the boys where to find their hidden treasures. The tiny doors on the calendar are way too small to hide the actual surprise. By about day 3, I had run out of words that rhyme with advent, surprise, elf, suicide... you get the idea.

I think it was somewhere around day 15 or 16 last year, that in a screaming fit of rage, I packed the whole thing up and vowed to my children that they would never see the advent calendar again. Oh, don't worry, this has a happy ending. For them. They did the whole groveling and apology bit, and not 24 hours later, I had caved and had two inappropriately expensive something-or-others waiting for them. With a poem. With a cute little piece of jolly Christmas clip art on it.

So, here I am... A year older and maybe just a bit wiser. The boys came home from swim practice and immediately started elbowing each other out of the way to get to the calendar. Moody Teen got there first, and read the clue to look in the freezer. Sweet Pre-teen found the envelope behind the ice cream, tore it open and began to read:

For the first day of Advent, there won't be a gift
Instead, you must each find someone else's spirits to lift.

When I told them they each had $25 to donate to a good cause that they had to pick, they almost fell to the floor. But, in their defense, they regrouped rather quickly and were good sports. Youngest is deciding between a Food Bank and an Animal Rescue. Oldest chose Breast Cancer, so he can freely say breast. Repeatedly. 

21 comments:

Kristina P. said...

You are such an awesome mom! I love the donation idea.

Joy said...

Breast that is hillarious and such a good casuse! my neighbor is currently winner her battle with it!!

We do an advent calendar the "elves" left chocolate last night but I feel your pain as in I have nothing for tonight since I didn't make it out to the store today! at least they are still young enough to like shiny coins.

stefanie said...

Love it. I made everyone stop what they were doing so I could read them the last few paragraphs. Then I laughed again while they all laughed. I think you lifted more spirits today than you expected.

Kelli @ Gohn Crazy said...

Now THAT sounds like the start of an awesome Advent. And too funny about "breast" Boys.

georgie said...

That is to cool about the 1st day of Advent! a donation...your a smart mom!

Lorie said...

Very smart! I think tomorrow they should have to do a good deed for eachother! Oh and Breast! ;D

Jay @halftime lessons said...

I was laughing out loud at this kiddo...well done!!
Let your boys know that if they want to shave their heads in March for St Baldrick's I know of a couple of empty chairs.

;-)

Wendyburd1 said...

LOL, I loved that story!! We always had an advent calendar but different than yours. Ours is a blank Christmas tree and each day has an ornament in it that someone gets to pin up. In day 25 which is a stocking on the side, there is a surprise on XMAS day. We still put it up, it is usually a soft lips for everyone or something else small now, but I still LOVE it!

Tenakim said...

That's a great idea- good for you!

Lee the MWOB Queen said...

Mind-blowing and awesome of you to do all of that with an advent calendar. The donation idea rules! Love it.

The Mommy said...

I'm so not that crafty! Good ideas, and so proud of you for continuing it this year!!! :)

dana wyzard said...

If I ever had an idea it would die in solitary confinement. Christmas has always been one of those things I must trudge through, so that I can get to the depression stage afterward. GOOD GOING ON YOUR PART MOM!

Denise said...

Thats a great idea. We have always gotten those pre-filled advent calendars (filled with chocolate or legos, etc). I might have to invest in one of those permanent ones and do the same.

And I am so glad your "kinda" getting into the holiday spirt.

The Mommy said...

Alright Deb. I think I've given up on trying to make the button. I think I could *maybe* figure out the code thing if I could ever even design the stupid button! :P lol

Honey Mommy said...

Your boys are a hoot!

Makes me think twice about doing an advent calendar myself!

Tony said...

Deb,

That was a beauty. Really, elf suicide took me over the edge. I thought for a moment you had directed them to a real Santa gift or something. Laughed so hard. Thanks. Good luck with the remaining 22 days of Advent Schmadvent. LOL

Brenda Jean said...

I'm in hysterics right now, and will think of your story EVERY dang time I see the word breast. Thanks. Beyond on that I say GO DEB, GO DEB-- you are so creative and brave. I will confess that I have not done the advent calendar with my kids. Don't scream heathen at me please. You'd think I would but I haven't. Crap, now I feel guilty. I'm a crafty person, and I can rhyme, but I've never been moved to do it-- I must ponder this.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

LOL! I could totally see my boys donating to breast cancer just to say breast a bunch.
I take the lazy way out and buy a Lego calendar. They get a little lego person or accessory every day and at the end of the month, they get added to the lego bin. no muss no fuss

Harlene said...

I keep telling my kids they've gotten
the date wrong! It only worked till they got to school.

My boys are also big supporters of breast cancer awareness, one of mine even ordered a "Save the Tata's" pink tee shirt!

Perhaps I'll send one!

Straight to Your Hart said...

You Rock!! What a great way to "teach your children well!" I Heart the idea...

Lindsay said...

I think the best part of the entire thing is your son getting to say "breast". That's awesome.

Also awesome is turning the Advent calendar into something helpful for those around you. Keep it up!