Holiday Projects: Why Do I Do This To Myself?!

I am crazy. I am crazy. I am crazy. 

My advent calendar has sat unattended for a few years now. It’s one of those adorable wooden ones with the tiny drawers. I got it on my son’s second Christmas. Each year, we’d fill the drawers with Rolos so he’d get a sweet treat each day.

When my daughter came along a few years later, my son just lost interest. I’d still fill the calendar but would always end up just putting the Rolos in my candy dish when neither of the kids bothered to claim it. 

Then last year I broke the Rolos tradition. Instead, I filled the drawers with coins. I even sprinkled a few dollar bills in there for fun. I thought money would entice the kids to get excited each day and keep up with the calendar.

Nope. By the fourth day, they lost interest again.

This year, I decided to let them take the lead. They asked for treasure hunt clues. So, I hand wrote clues on tiny slips of paper, one for each of the 25 days of the advent calendar. 

I am crazy. I am crazy. I am crazy.

Holiday Projects: Why Do I Do This To Myself?!

As for the treasure, candy wasn’t really an incentive for them. And they weren’t really excited about collecting my spare change either. What did they ask for instead? Soda. Cans of soda. They even got to chose their own flavor.

Caffeine-free sodas, mind you. My sanity is still mildly intact. Fragmented and hanging on for dear life, but intact enough to spare myself the joys of caffeinated children.

I’m doing all this on top of our annual Christmas countdown chain. We take a link off the chain each morning. Plus, we’ve got two mischievous elves in our house who get themselves into some pretty elaborate and time-consuming trouble.

Why do I do this to myself? 

As I sat making ‘soda coupons’ on tiny slips of paper for the treasure hunt, I silently cursed myself for cramming even more work into the month. I wondered why I put myself through so much in such a short period of time. The holidays are stressful enough. The budgeting, the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating. And now, I’m adding daily tasks to the madness of the season.

I am crazy. I am crazy. I am crazy.

Do you want to know the craziest part of the whole story? I love it. I secretly love it so much. I love being dog tired and still setting up the elves each night. I love the headache of coming up with tricky and fun treasure hunt clues. I love making the countdown chain out of construction paper, which always starts as a group effort, but ends with me doing it all by myself.

So why do I do this to myself? I absolutely love it. 

I love knowing the extra work and the commitments I set myself up for are so worth the looks on my kids’ faces and the lasting memories we’re making together. Knowing that years from now, when they’re my age, they’ll look back on the fun I created for them each year.

So yes, I am crazy. I am crazy. I am crazy.

But for all the right reasons.

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Jess is a born and raised Iowan who has lived in Vinton for the past 10 years. She has two children, 10-year-old Landon and 4-year-old Fynnlee. Jess attended Kirkwood and UNI and now operates an in-home daycare. She considers herself an independent author and has self-published a few eBooks. She enjoys attending Landon’s sporting events, spending time with her family, as well as writing and reading in her free time.