Seven Calorie-Free Ways to Enjoy the Holidays – Day Three

For the last two days, we’ve played with scent and then scent plus flavor. For Day 3 of our adventures in calorie-free delights, I’d like to move into a more ephemeral sense. This sense is part thought, part emotion. It’s what enables us as intelligent beings to plan for the future.


#3 Advent Calendars: an exercise in daily joy

Remember that feeling when we were kids, of the building excitement for Christmas? How it seemed that the days dragged by and that the clock ticked ever more slowly, that magical day seeming to grow farther away not closer. Each preparation, while fun, seemed a torment of waiting. Picking out the tree, spending an evening decorating it, helping to wrap gifts, baking cookies. Every moment filled us with just a bit more excitement, a dollop more of anticipation until, by Christmas morning, we were fair to bursting with energy.

(Could have been all the fudge and sugar cookies, too.)

I used to have paper advent calendars that my mom would tape to the glass back patio door. Every morning before school, I could open a new numbered window and see a little picture. As the month progressed, more windows stood open, showing color and a growing scene. Folding open those little cardboard tabs made every day just a bit brighter. Of course, they also made the kind with little chocolates behind the tabs, but that’s *not* what we’re going for here.

The modern version of the advent calendar just got a little better. My favorite electronic greeting card company, Jacquie Lawson came out with an electronic Advent Calendar this year. And yes, I got it for myself and a bunch of my friends.

Every morning the swirling snow globe appears on my desktop, waiting for me when I start up the computer. Because computers are magic, it knows what day it is and encourages me to open a new window in the village. Then a little scene with music plays.

I love this company because of their beautiful images. Also, because they’re Brits, they have what to Americans is a more old-fashioned take on Christmas. It’s lovely and refreshing. Here’s their card of the month, if you’d like to see their stuff in action. Fair warning: if you’re reading this post after December 2010, then it’s likely not to be a Christmas card. But as I add this it’s a tree-decorating sugar-plum fairy.

Jacquie Lawson e-cards

The calendar started on December 1, but you can always have a little catching-up orgy of fun.

Enjoy building the anticipation.

8 Replies to “Seven Calorie-Free Ways to Enjoy the Holidays – Day Three”

  1. Oh – the calendar is such a delight. It gives me a small moment of joy every morning, and I thank you again for such a lovely gift.

    I bought the teenage boys Advent calendars this year – yes, the kind with chocolate, shhh – and they love them now as much as when they were kids.

  2. Confession: I have the advent calendar with the chocolate. But at least mine only has a total of 1.7 ounces (yes, as in not even 2 ounces) for the whole month. Not too heinous, I guess.

  3. Yay for the Advent Calendar! I like going back to replay the puppy trying to skate on the pond.

    There is something about the Victorian take on Christmas offering some sort of a "truer" holiday feeling, probably because of the natural inclination to romanticize history.

    Or it could be the eight Hystericals I just read…

  4. Yet another wonderful idea! Of course, I'm afraid someone like me (with almost no self-control when it comes to chocolate) would probably open every window and eat all the chocolate on the first day, LOL

  5. my godmother used to send me an advent calendar every year. it was always one of my most treasured gifts because, really, the build-up to christmas, the anticipation, is the best part.

    she no longer sends me one because i grew out of it or so she thought? what? no i didn't. just because i don't believe in santa doesn't mean i don't believe in the magic of the season. maybe i should go buy one for myself!

  6. Lots of votes for the calendars with chocolate!

    Teenage boys don't count, Kerry – I'm glad you got them chocolate.

    I'm amazed Linda – only 1.7 for the whole calendar?? I should get one, too!

    You would like the puppy one, KAK! I don't know what it is about that historic feel that seems so romantic, but it truly does.

    Danica, you need a mom to stand over you and make sure you only get ONE PER DAY!

    That's being the grown-up, Abby – you have to buy your own damn advent calendars. (But at least then you get to pick the kind you like.)

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