family heirloom advent calendar
My daughter just had an assignment at school to write about a holiday tradition she'd like to continue. She choose to write about this old advent calendar we hang up every year. Advent Calendars are a German tradition used to count down to Christmas. As you can see, this is not the height of lovely design or superior construction and was certainly never meant to last this long.

When my father was a small child (about 3 or 4 years old), my grandmother made this at church. It's glued on a piece of burlap, with hand drawn elf faces, sequins and other felt shapes. Dad remembers it's going up every Christmas and he and his siblings getting excited for Santa's arrival. When they all grew up and started their own families, it was passed to my mother (he's the oldest of six kids). It hung in my house every year and my siblings and I counted the days. My mom replaced all the ornaments at least once, as they got lost over the years.

Now that I have a child, my mother passed it to me with the same ornaments I had with it as a kid. A few days ago, Holly (my daughter) told me it was time to get out the tree and her calendar. So for those of you who are counting, that's three generations of family tradition. It's passed into the irreplacable territory of a true "family heirloom."

A few years ago, my older half-sister (who did not grow up with this calendar) even tried to buy me a new one. She says this one is worn out and ugly to boot. I thanked her and hang that one up too, but I'll never stop displaying this one. She's right.. on at least one count. It is getting quite worn now and no wonder, it's almost 50 years old! Regardless of how hokey it is, I hope it hangs in Holly's house in another 20 years, when she has kids of her own.

Happy Holidays to all of you! Please tell us about your traditions in the comments or head over to the sewmamasew blog to share.

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