Man, I feel like such a deadbeat when I see all of the wintery races that some of you are running. Winter makes me just want to curl up and not run and get fat. I'm trying to get out there most mornings, but can't quite work up the nerve to commit myself to a specific day of running. What if it's snowing? Eek!
Anyway, the Advent thing--I did it last year and my Mom-friends said how crazy I was. And I was. If we'd actually tried to do everything on our list, I would have been so burned out. We ended up skipping a week's worth of activities when we had a terrible ice storm that took down a bunch of our branches, smashed both cars, and killed our power for a week. We toughed it out with the woodstove a bit, but ended up running away to my parents' house for several days. To the kids, this was just as exciting as daily activities.
The first year is the hardest, when you are trying to think of 24 things to do. Plus, we decorated 24 gift bags last year, so that part was already done for this year, too. We do a lot of craft projects, so that's easy to organize and the kids find them just as thrilling as actual events. This year I tried to hunt down more events, though, to balance things. In a few more years I'll be a total expert.
As a kid, though, I always really loved the paper Advent calendars. My grandmother used to buy them for me and my brother, and ours didn't even have candy in them, just a little picture behind each door. It was still thrilling having that visual countdown. My brother used to open all of the little doors the very first day.
Tonight we went to a Festival of Trees, which was even better than I'd thought it would be. I thought it was going to be outside, but it was inside this big conference center type place in an office park. Great! There were over 200 decorated trees and you could buy raffle tickets to win them (God, no, the last thing I need is to win the Christmas tree that my kids think is the most beautiful. One of the trees was decorated with all rainbow fairy books. Can you imagine?). At the door, they handed the kids a scavenger hunt form with about thirty things to find, so that kept them busy and made them closely scrutinize each tree. Nice touch! The only problem was that DH and I had to pay eight bucks apiece to get in. I'd thought it was free. I think we got our money's worth, though, and will probably go again next year.
Tomorrow They Might be Giants is performing a sing-along at a Borders bookstore, so we're going to that. I called the store tonight and got no information whatsoever. The person to whom I spoke didn't know how many people they expected or how early I should plan on being there. I don't know, either. An hour early? Two hours early? Do I have a firm grasp on how popular this group actually is? We'll probably go way early and then putter around town if the place is deserted. If it were just me, I'd be happy to camp out all day, but I don't want the kids to burn out before the concert even starts.
All right--to bed with me. I'm hoping to be on the roads in the morning.