As a child, I loved advent calendars. The countdown to Christmas Eve was marked on a calendar sent to me each year by my Auntie Janet. Growing up, I was happy to open a little paper window each day to see what Christmas-inspired image lay behind. She never missed a year, straight through to college.
When I married my husband, he bought a beautiful puzzle version, in the shape of a Christmas tree, with drawers hiding chocolate treats. My children can’t wait to open it year after year. To strengthen the tradition, when my children were born, my mother sewed this fabric one (see left) with pockets.
So our family displays two calendars each year. Being an obsessed chocoholic, I love treating my children to fine dark chocolate during the holidays. (You can never have too much chocolate in the house!) By age four, my youngest son could tell the difference between a Valrhona and a Scharffen Berger.
But two calendars means too many sweets. Rather than put away one of my beloved calendars, I’ve decided this year to fill my mother’s fabric pocket calendar with miniature scrolls, each printed with a part of a Christmas story.
I collected a series of free short stories from the web, and created a document so that I could cut out each “mini scroll,” marked with the day it is to be read, and roll it and tie it with a ribbon. Each day they’ll receive a new part of a story, until they finish with a little book.
There are three stories in all, followed by two poems.
If you’re interested in trying a new tradition, please feel free to print my Christmas Stories PDF.
**It’s important to note that I altered the stories a bit. Everything I found was ancient–and many of those old Christmas tales have surprisingly tragic endings! I felt compelled to sweeten them up somewhat, and I did try to make the language easier to understand–but be assured the overall messages remain intact and preserved. Merry Christmas, one and all!