Celebrating the Holidays from Afar

For our first Christmas in Japan, creating traditions were on my mind more than ever. Our son is almost two, that wondrous age when the magic of the holiday season will inform how he feels about them for the rest of his life.

No pressure.

It was important to us that Christmas, in particular, be about more for our son than presents and gift-giving. He already has more toys and books than an almost two-year-old needs, and we want to instill in him a love of giving back and thinking of others.

Enter the Advent Calendar I bought after the last holiday season. Traditionally, Advent Calendars are filled with treats and small toys, but for our house, I wanted to fill it with activities and experiences that would lead to memories.


I filled the boxes for each day with the kind of activity that would lead to treasured memories for everyone – for years to come.

Activities range from big – the Golden Ticket Surprise Trip – to small – baking & crafts – to things we’d do anyways – decorating and wrapping presents. Next year, our son will be old enough to truly enjoy and participate in all the activities, and we’re ready.



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