One of our favorite traditions of the Christmas season is our Christmas activity tree.

In years past, Little B has painted a big ol’ tree on large craft paper and we’ve “strung” the tree with paper ornaments with activities scrawled on the back. I’ve loved the whole process and B has always enjoyed it too.

Except that now that sweet, little, gap-toothed kid is now wearing braces and taller than his momma and all sorts of teenager-y.

Where does the time go?

So this year, while waiting in line at the Starbucks for a plain black tea I could have easily brewed at home my eyes fell upon an ornament advent “calendar.” Each Christmas ball ornament is stuffed with a wrapped piece of chocolate and is now neighbors with activities for each day that I just finished stuffing inside. We went out a purchased a small table top tree on which to hang the numbered ornaments and although it’s not as cute as BB’s handmade trees or his little painted paper ornaments… it’ll do.

I’ll take a picture and post it later, ’cause it is all kinds of cute and is befitting of my budding teenager.

Traditions are traditions even if they must be tweaked a bit as time passes!

Here are our activities for this year:

24. Letter to Santa (Shh! Don’t tell the boy to tell me one way or another what he believes!) and time capsule ornament.

23. Candy Cane Hunt and a Christmas Movie

22. Make tie-dyed wrapping paper and homemade ornaments.

21. Decorate the house with snowflakes.

20. Attend Honolulu City Lights (parade downtown Honolulu).

19. Gingerbread-house making and Christmas movie watching.

18. Make candy cane bark for gifting to friends.

17. Attend the Christmas Tree lighting on Schofield and check out the lights in the neighborhood.

16. Candy cane shakes and family game night.

15. Night walk to see lights with hot cocoa in hand.

14. Attend the Haleiwa Christmas parade on the North Shore.

13. Attend the Nutcracker and visit Waimanalo Farms for their rending of the Christmas Story (roast s’mores and go on their sweet Christmas Caroling hay ride).

12. Ice skating!

11. Make homemade ornaments and make teenager friendly egg nog (I’m not quite sure if that’s a white whale or not, as I’m not an egg nog person but by request…).

10. Watch an old Christmas movie on the projector outside with cookies and cocoa and popcorn and other yummy treats.

9. Make fudge for friends.

8. Decorate and make homemade gingerbread men (save for tomorrow).

7. Read Christmas stories by the tree and eat those yummy gingerbread-men we saved from yesterday.

6. Attend the PCC 30 minute canoe ride light extravaganza (and watch a star wars movie).

5. Host a game night for B’s friends along with a Christmas cookie decorating fiesta (plus watch another Star Wars movie).

4. Make homemade ornaments (plus watch another Star Wars movie).

3. Indoor “snowball” fight and Lights Scavenger Hunt (plus watch another Star Wars movie).

2. Christmas Carol with family and friends far away via Skype and sleep at the foot of the tree (plus watch another Star Wars movie).

1. Christmas Eve shenanigans: Make cookies for Santa, read A Night Before Christmas, make Reindeer Food, Open one present, and attend a candlelight service.

Merry Christmas everyone! May your Christmas season be warm, bright, and full of laughter and good cheer! May you be surrounded by love from both near and far! Enjoy the new memories made and as always…

I remain grateful.