Lessons from a $6 Chocolate Advent Calendar

Pinterest tries to beckon me with thoughts that my mothering is inadequate.  I bombard myself with thoughts that my decorations aren’t Christmas-y enough or that my activities aren’t pin-worthy enough.  I look at every dinner I make and doubt that anyone would ever care to read a blog post about what’s been created.  And those bloggy Christmas home tours?  They only leave me wishing that had the energy, finances, and time to create similar decor masterpieces.

But, I’ve been thinking about such things and my thoughts have been morphing.  I realize that though these things aren’t inherently wrong, I’ve got 3 little beings that don’t care about all the fancy frazzle that comes with the Holiday Pinterest hubbub and fancy Christmas decorations.  My kids just want me.

This year, I bought a $6 chocolate advent from Amazon.com.  At first, I successfully guilted myself into thinking that if I were a good mother, I’d have crafted some fancy advent that was far more special than just clicking the ‘One-Click Button’ on Amazon.  Because you know what? It’s all I had the energy to do.  And do you know what?  It’s sufficient.


That plain $6 chocolate advent has taught me something this Christmas season.  It isn’t about me trying to win ‘AMAZING’ status with my kids over super crafty Christmas projects or doing activities that millions of people will want to ‘pin’.  My kids really don’t care.

Simple as it may be, the chocolate advent is something that they have anticipated every night.  It’s probably because it involves chocolate, but I have a suspicion they may even like it more than any fancy-dancy advent calendar that I took my time to craft.  And you know what?  I’m okay with that.  I’m okay with the fact that my $6 purchase was the very best I could do.

Come to my house, and you’ll see quickly that my tree won’t win a spot in any Better Homes & Gardens competition.  And our ole’ Elf on the Shelf’ may just stay in the same spot for days (I just chalk it up that he was extra tired from his nightly activities and couldn’t move to another place in the house).  Instead of focusing on my short falls and Pinterest fails, I’m trying to focus on what my child hears when he asks me for the thousandth time this week, “Mom, will you play Richard Scarry Memory with me?”  Instead of hearing, “Just a minute…,” I want my kid to know that I chose this holiday season to sit down and spend time with him instead of being too busy wrapped up in the hustle of a meaningless Christmas.

I hope that my life, instead of pointing my children to empty busyness, will direct them to sit quietly at the throne of the very Reason who came to earth.  For me.  For them. For All.  Because He is what Christmas is all about.  And I hope that my chosen priorities will cause my children to reflect on what and who’s important, not what Pinterest tells me is so.


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  • Sterling

    Loved this, Maren. What a great reminder at this crazy time of year.