Friday, December 01, 2006

Notes From the Advent Stocking

When Jake was five, I began a new tradition in our house. I'm not sure quite how it came about, but being completely sick of the cheap chocolate advent calendars, I changed it to something better....

Advent stockings.

It started with this one....

And eventually turned into these......

The concept is simple. Every day something is in the corresponding stocking, right up until December 24th.

"What? You buy your kid 24 gifts on TOP of Christmas AND a birthday?"

Yes, of course, you know I DO only have one child and it's expected that I will spoil the boy completely rotten, isn't it? Isn't that's what is expected?

You see, I have completely ulterior motives behind this seemingly innocent activity. When you have a child who is very sensitive to sensory input, the holidays can be a nightmare. The treats, late bedtimes, concerts, parties, and excitement all cumulate into a build up that whips him into a frenzy faster then you can say "fruitcake." It really produces nothing but anxiety that results in everyone here cursing Christmas instead of loving it and a child melting down at every turn.

Advent stockings are cool this way.Jake can only get ONE thing at a time. He won't know about the night we've planned to have friends over to watch DVDs until that morning. Ditto with skating with friends, or decorating cookies. On those days I write a little note and tuck it into the stocking with a small item, like some sprinkles for the cookies, or popcorn for the DVD night. Sure, I buy a few little gifties, just because I CAN. Usually they are sensory toys or cheap little dollar store trinkets. However cutting out all that anticipation and the constant flurry of activites just keeps him calm and things run smoothly.

And I'm all for a calm and smooth Christmas.

What's in his stocking today? Check out the sidebar. I had a reason for snatching up this little guy, mainly because we are going Christmas shopping in the city tomorrow and soft fuzzy things keep Jake grounded. He'll need all the help he can get shopping in the city.

Besides the fact that he's cute andJake's favorite movie is March of the Penguins, of course.

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