December 1st: let the advent-ure begin


December 3, 2015 by Terumi

make your own advent calendar project

Can I tell you how overjoyed I am with this advent calendar project some lovelies in my life are making for me?  I never could have anticipated how much these beautiful words could fill a heart more than all the stuff you can buy.
But oh, how magical it’s been so far.

My kids have played with and already forgotten the Lego’s from December 1st and 2nd on their advent calendars.  They probably don’t even know where they are.  (But I do because I’ve felt them under my feet in various places in the house) And the chocolates.  OH.  They devoured them, then bounced around the house for a few gleeful minutes.  They ran around like crazy and I had to make sure they didn’t leave little chocolate-y finger splotches on the furniture.  And this process will repeat with gusto for the next 22 days.  22 more days of magical openings and getting things and eating things and wildness.  The perfect Christmas appetizer for little boys who are so excited about Santa and reindeer, family, presents, holidays and snow.

But I have an inbox full of words and joyful pictures I’m so excited to read.  And I can’t imagine anything warmer in my heart.  I just want to sit and savor them, over and over and over again.

I asked my dear friend Sheena, who I’ve know for eons, to start this year’s advent calendar project and like everything I’ve ever asked her in life, she cheered me along in my plan and sent me this perfect memory.  At first I couldn’t believe that after all these years of knowing her I didn’t think I knew about this tradition, but life has a way of fading little pieces of time.  When I clicked the link she included and heard the unmistakable voice on the ‘record’ I was whisked away to a place somewhere in my past where I’d definitely heard this in some December long ago:

december 1st make your own advent calendar by sheena

Welcome to your 2015 Advent Calendar. Let the countdown to Christmas begin!
Every Christmas Eve, Walter gets the wood fire going in the cabin, and my mom and I bring out hot chocolate and a plate of Christmas treats, and we listen to “Stories for Christmas” on the record player. It’s a series of 11 short, old-timey stories read by Alan Maitland from CBC. By the time the record is ready to be flipped, my parents are usually fast asleep—but I flip it anyways, sneak a few more cookies and keep on listening to the end.
The fact that this is the tradition I chose to share is pure kismet. When I went in search of the record earlier today, I found it stashed inside the original cardboard sleeve it was mailed in. The package is addressed to Walter on his farm in Alberta (the one you visited) and postmarked 1987 (so two years before my parents were married) and there’s a handwritten note from Walter on the front that says “To Sheena…after or on December 1st!”
And 28 years later, on December 1, here I am passing it on to you (minus all the record player static and skipping):
Merry Christmas, Funky!
Sheena S.

Thank you Sheena, for passing me this lovely memory.  Thank you for being such a big part of my life, my milestones, and my childhood and for adventuring with me on so many projects throughout the years, even when they’re crazy.

(And yes, I’ve been called Funky forever.  Be careful of the slogans on the clothing that you wear in 6th or 7th grade because the words might follow you for life:)

(PS. J and W if you read this, I’m so thankful for you too.)



  1. There are fleeting moments in the dark when you step on a Lego in your bare feet when you consider selling the children, or leaving them on the steps of a friend, but then they give you that gift that comes from the heart, there is just nothing that compares to that.

  2. majl says:

    This is awesome… I tota

  3. Sheena S. says:

    Aww, ditto!
    Sheena S.

  4. That is a very cool idea for a special advent “calendar!”

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