When I was a kid, my grandma used to help me ring in the holiday season by getting me one of these:
You’ve probably indulged in one yourself. Or, at the least, seen one. But just in case, here’s a brief explanation of the image above:
This photo is that of an Advent Calendar holding 25 scrumptious surprises behind 25 perforated pop-out doors. Starting December 1, you open one door per day, revealing a chocolatey treat for prompt consumption as you count down the days until Christmas. For a child, it’s fun way to build excitement and anticipation for the coming of Santa. For an adult, it’s a fun way to create pressure and anxiety over how many days you have left to get all your shopping done.
As with most childhood traditions, this one was supposed to be transferred to my progeny within a few years of me becoming an adult. But, being typical of my generation, I (and my siblings) have remained childless thus far, leaving my poor mother and father with lots of grand-parental impulses and no one to use them on.
I think my mom got rather fed-up a couple of years ago. She wanted the Advent Calendar tradition to come back, gosh-darn-it! But how do you keep your almost 30 year-old “kids” interested in a tradition meant for 6-10 year olds? You get creative, you appeal to their strange hobbies, and you make it a challenge.
And so, last year, the Lego Advent Calendar was born. Instead of opening cardboard windows to a chalky piece of chocolate, we open 1 of 25 personally packaged Lego pieces, and methodically construct a complex object. Last year, Steve and I built the Empire State Building. My brother did the Space Needle, and my sister completed the Capitol Building.
You have got to give credit where credit is due – my mom did it. She completely got our commitment to not only follow through on this tradition, but to look forward to participating in it, as well.
This year? Well, this year she out did herself. If you are a fan of the Bustache on Facebook, then you’ve already gotten a glimpse this years re-invented custom. If not, lo-and-behold, the 2011 Sierra/Steve Advent Calendar:
It’s the Lego Volkswagen T1 Camper Van. And it is SO COOL!
When we opened the “main box” on December 1, we found 24 plastic-baggies filled with the components to turn these 2500+ bits-n-bobs into a beautiful bus. Apparently, it took my mom 7+ hours to separate the pieces properly. Wow. She loves us. A lot. (THANK YOU, MOM!!!!)
So, each evening of last 20 days has been spent building a bus.
And it’s even more awesome than we initially thought. Lego is obviously a master of detail, because there are so many functional aspects and fun additions that seriously make me want to crawl inside and live in this masterpiece.
We only have 5 more days to go (shoot! Only 4 more shopping days left!!!), and I am starting to think we’re going to miss this nightly bonding activity. Maybe my mom would be interested in creating a 365-day count-down calendar for 2012? That would sure be a lot of baggies…
I guess we should just start tackling the massive “to-do list” we have for our REAL full-sized VW instead.
Regardless, we’ve definitely enjoyed the re-invention of this old tradition. At this rate, my parents future grand-children may never get it back. :-(D
What about you? Any holiday traditions you’ve recently revived?