Day One: Advent calendar

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Image: Cathi Kern Borushek via mutterhood

Tiny windows open to reveal one perfect treat. Felt pockets hide bright, sequined ornaments. Hand knit baby stockings, machine-stitched cornucopia, Santa holding a tiny chalkboard, red and green tissue paper wrapped packages numbered one to 25: The advent calendar tradition is alive and well, and this year it’s come to mutterhood with our very own version.

Advent calendars as custom date back to the 1800s, when German Lutherans adopted the idea to mark the beginning of the Advent season, anticipating the birth of Jesus. These early calendars were religious in tone, featuring Bible verses, artwork depicting the nativity scene, poems, devotionals and hymns.

Today, advent calendars range from religious to culinary to Elf on a Shelf, with a lot of variation in between. Most popular are the ones you buy featuring a Christmas scene on the front with punch-out windows holding tiny chocolates, starting with day one to 25 (average Advent calorie count: 250). Others involve ornaments, puzzle pieces, books — really anything you can think of to count down 25 days. (One year I knit tiny mittens and hats for my kids, and filled one each day with candy, a note, a gift card and other stuff I came up with that for two kids equalled 50 items and that’s no small task, my friends.)

This year, we thought why not do our own? So we created the first ever mutterhood advent calendar, and we’d love for you to join our countdown. There’ll be 25 days of words and pictures, all original, that celebrate different traditions of the holiday season, plus stories and hopefully a little humor to help us get through it together.

We hope you enjoy it, and we wish you all the most joyful of holiday seasons.

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