Each year we do an advent calendar, and a few years ago I started giving Mythankfulboy a question each day to answer to make it bit more contemplative. I got them from childrenchalice.wordpress.com. Mythankfulboy gets a Hershey kiss first thing in the morning just because it’s a countdown to Christmas, and when he answers the question, he gets a second one. Here is our first installment this year:
December 1: What does kindness look like? Holding doors for someone, asking how people are doing, being happy in general.
December 2: What do you look forward to in the coming year? Getting a job.
December 3: Do you like wintertime? I would rate it a 6/10.
December 4: Advent is a time of waiting. What is something you wait for eagerly? Baseball season and packages arriving in the mail.
December 5: Why is it important to say thank you? Because even if it seems small, it can make a big difference in someone’s life.
December 6: Tell me about a time you felt lucky. I felt lucky when my summer baseball team won the championships
December 7: How important is a smile? It is extremely important because a smile can make someone’s day.
December 8: Let’s plan an activity for winter. What should it be? Find the best hill to sled down with the BOOMS (his friends, short for Boys Of Obnoxious Mothers – long story) and go sledding/tubing there.
December 9: Does your energy change when you sit in darkness? I feel like I slow down a lot, get sleepy and cold and quiet.
December 10: What animals need our help in winter? There are a few cats staying on Dad’s porch in the winter that probably wouldn’t make it without our help. And squirrels.
December 11: Name a time when you have helped someone. What did you do? I have helped O move in across the street.
December 12: If you were to send a card or letter to someone today, who would it be? It would be to my cousins Wil and Ben because I miss them and I want to know how they are doing.
December 13: Why does giving make us happy? Giving makes us happy because it makes others happy.
December 14: If we had a family symbol or motto, what would it look like? Friends are family and family are friends.
December 15: Name a time when you knew you were loved. How did you know? When my mom told me she was willing to alter her work schedule to be here with me more often.
December 16: Name someone you’d like to get to know better in the coming year. The R’s, across the street.
December 17: Talk about your favorite holiday memory. Walking around at Bethlehem Steel and ice skating with the BOOMs.
December 18: If you could be a character from a book for one day, who would you want to be? Why? Percy Jackson, because I would have a cool shiny golden pen-sword.
December 19: Tell me a joke. Why is laughing good for you? How can you tell if a Christmas tree is a guy or a girl? You look up its tree skirt! (This was the first joke B made up, at about age 8. Then he said “boy or girl”.) I think laughing is good because it can easily brighten someone’s mood.
December 20: This is the darkest night of the year. Do you like darkness? I kind of like darkness. I don’t like when it gets dark at 4:00 in the winter. I do like sleeping in the dark, though, and it helps me concentrate.
I love this tradition. It makes me happy to read his thoughts, in the same way it makes me happy to hear them each night at the chalice lighting. Lately, B has been thankful for a range of things, including friends, our Christmas tree, his snow globe collection, and last night, for fingernails (because they’re really useful). The Christmas season is a great time to be thankful..