Perhaps it’s just me but I feel like there are more and more advent calendars each year. It started with chocolate ones in my childhood. Now it has outgrown itself to ones where you get a different nail polish, a bath product, a candle, a tea, etc. each day leading up to Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love each and every one of these things, but 24 of them? I personally get dizzy just thinking about it. So instead of the gift-mayhem we decided to do something different with Mr. AP: to count our blessings each day leading up to Christmas.

Year end is always so frantic. Work seems to pile up, there is the question of the presents and the preparation of the food and sweets. So it was such a relief to pause at the end of each day. To focus on yourself, to collect your own thoughts for a change, to meditate a bit. Think of things that have made us and are making us happy. Things that we are happy to have in our lives, and perhaps things that we wish for in the (hopefully) not so distant future. It was a joyous moment to sit down and dig deep into our souls and not think of anything else.

Each little message was folded up and put in a beautiful box on our coffee table. Each day we saw the number of them grow and grow and my heart swelled with happiness. This day and age we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on the negative. However, here I saw proof that good exists in abundance!

On Christmas morning – as is our tradition – we decorated our tree and had special sweets for breakfast. Still in our PJs we headed back to bed with our little box and started to open the little messages. Each of us read the other’s. With some we laughed. To some I cried. It was such a special, heart warming feeling to be surrounded by so much warm thoughts, love and joy on this day. I don’t often use the word, but this Christmas morning felt magical.