This is my fourth year planning Christmas advent calendar activities for our family, and each time is more enjoyable than the last. The beginning years were more about establishing family traditions and appeasing my inner holiday spirit than anything else. I think Andi and the kids could've cared less.
This year, Tory is starting to understand the true meaning of Christmas (in all aspects) and it's so fun to witness the wonder and delight through her eyes. I'm excited to see what future years bring when Tory and Aden are older and even more engaged!
Though admittedly, I do struggle with how much emphasis to place on Santa Claus and related holiday activities. It feels a bit wrong to pump my kids' heads full of Santa Claus stories only to break their little hearts with the truth one day in the future. I suppose children have believed in the spirit of Santa for generations, and Tory and Aden will also live to tell about it. (Though, knowing Tory and her sensitive personality, I do fear the drama to come -- eek!)
Anyway, Tory is really excited about Santa Claus for the first time this year. She affectionately calls him "Santer" even though she knows his name is Santa Claus. "I just like to call him that," she says. She practically jumped in his lap to tell him what she wanted for Christmas when we visited the downtown Minneapolis Macy's Santaland.
For our Christmas advent calendar activity on Day 12, I thought it'd be fun for Tory and Aden to write letters to Santa with a list of items they'd like for Christmas, and then have the kids mail their letters at one of those special "Santa Mailboxes" around town. I printed this Santa Letter template and together we filled out the letters for jolly old St. Nick.
Here's what Tory's letter said:
This Christmas, I am 4 years old.
This year, I have been ... good all of the time.
What I would like most this Christmas is a telephone and a castle.
By the way, both of these wishes were news to me. She'd previously asked for a "workout mat" and a "dress for her doll." I asked Tory what kind of telephone she wanted (so I could find out more details for Santa, of course) and she responded, "One like yours, Mom!"
Sorry, kiddo, I can guarantee Santa won't be leaving you an iPhone under the Christmas tree!
She promised to leave cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
Aden happily drafted a letter to Santa Claus as well, but I'm still working on deciphering his requests...
Now, if you'll excuse me, Santa Claus needs to get busy checking things off these lists!