I may be the only person in America who doesn’t break into hives at the sight of Christmas decorations immediately following Halloween. While most rational shoppers are shoving their noise-canceling earbuds further in as Mariah Carey belts “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on repeat, I’m singing along like a five-year-old.
Call it commercialized, call it overdone, call it whatever you want—I LOVE the holiday season, and it can’t get here soon enough.
Naturally, I love anything that counts down to Christmas, which is why I love advent calendars. As a kid, they were a big deal in my house: a daily reminder that Christmas was coming, a little daily treat that made the anticipation more bearable, a daily moment to sit with family and reflect on what the holiday really meant (of course I didn’t appreciate that last one nearly enough at the time).
Through the years, we had advent calendars of all kinds—ones with chocolates or gifts behind each window, glittered antique-style ones, handmade felt ones with pockets. But by far the coolest advent calendar I’ve ever seen is the Story of Christmas storybook set and calendar. When I recently stumbled across it in the office, I was hit with a wave of crazy childlike joy. For each day of the advent, from December 1st through the 24th, there’s a mini-book telling a part of the Christmas story. And each little book doubles as an ornament—with a loop for hanging on the tree after it’s read.
I can’t wait to give it to my family for Christmas, and I know it’ll become a tradition in my own home—something I’ll bring out year after year along with the stockings and lights and vintage reindeer statuettes… even as my neighbors are hosting their end-of-summer barbecues.