A Tragic Christmas Tradition

Our family doesn’t have a fancy advent calendar, but every year I buy these cheap chocolate advent calendars.  chocolate advent calendarMy children LOVE them!   Another bonus:  the chocolate tastes terrible, so I’m not even tempted to sneak any.

On Saturday I slept in a bit while my husband was up with the kids.  My three-year-old, Mase, got an early start to his mischievous morning.  He managed to get his chocolate-loving mitts on the calendar belonging to his younger brother, Dax.    Mase then hid in Dax’s crib and devoured most of the chocolate.  Apparently this can’t be done without covering the crib and wall with chocolate.  Here’s a small glimpse of the crime scene.chocolate on walls

I, of course, gave Dax my three-year-old’s calendar.  So now, EVERY DAY,  Mase has to watch the other kids get chocolate.  He needs to learn this lesson, but it has become the saddest little tradition to watch.  Thankfully, only 18 more days of suffering to go!

Also tragic, our Santa ornament collecting tradition.   Many Santas are MIA, which may be better than this guy.broken Santa ornament

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Season:  Working to keep our traditions less tragic.

And I may be the only one, but if you’ve ever had a tradition gone wrong, please share!

Also, just a reminder to link-up your Jan-Mar review posts starting this Friday!


  1. Oh my, I’m sure watching everyone else eat chocolate has got to be hard! I think that this year will be our last non-tragic Christmas. I must enjoy it now…

  2. Oh No!!! We used to get those chocolate advent calendars growing up too. The chocolate is horrible! Your poor little Mace. This is definitely one where the phrase “this hurts me more than it hurts you” is true.

    I feel like every tradition at our house goes slightly awry. The Cleavers we are not.

  3. Bahahaha!! Poor little guy! Were you able to get the chocolate off the wall?

  4. I buy those cheap calendars, too! And keep them on top of the kitchen cabinets to prevent the very tragedy you described.

    Our Christmas tradition tragedy this year was our paper chains! I didn’t realize that if you use NICE construction paper, the tap won’t hold the loops together unless the loops are pretty narrow, which then makes them tear easily. Staples work, but I don’t trust my kids with the stapler…

    • Our calendars were in a cabinet above the fridge so I thought they’d be safe! I’m not sure if my husband got them down (he doesn’t remember) or my daughter. We haven’t made chains yet, though when we do I’ll stay away from the NICE construction paper. I wouldn’t trust my kids with the stapler either.

  5. That’s a tough lesson to learn for a 3 yo, but it’s gotta be done!

  6. I gave up on the advent calendars this year. We always forgot to do it and then Annabelle would be opening up 5 or 6 days at one time.

  7. Gosh, that would be really hard to watch him see everyone else eating the chocolate, but you’re doing the right thing. And poor Santa!! Someone’s getting coal in their stocking this year!!!

    I’ll be linking up on Friday!!!! I may not be able to link up for all of them, but I’ll at least make it to the first one!!

  8. My 3 advent calendars are placed very high up. I hope they don’t figure out how to get to them!

  9. That chocolate is horrible. Maybe that is why he was wiping it on the wall? 🙂

  10. My family’s tradition is plain WRONG! I was entering some contest the other day and I was asked to share my favorite Christmas Family Memory. Yep, I had nothing…. Unless they want to count getting hit by a wedding ring because my Sister and her 1st husband were fighting, or any of the Christmas’s (seriously, take your pick, I have many) where one of the adults in the family pitched a hissy fit over the gift they were given (all gifts were things they had asked for, but apparently after 24 hrs they decided they no longer wanted them), or when I was young and one of the adult members in the family threw a fit that wouldn’t even be rivaled by my 2 yr old and swore at everyone and told us all how horrible of people we are. Yeah, my side of the family is messed up… So, our new holiday Tradition is to avoid them.

  11. oh no…what happen to Santa

  12. I am sure I have said, “This is suppose to be FUN! Now shut up and have FUN!” My oldest having a huge temper tantrum every year we see the lights on Temple Square is becoming a tradition. Redecorating the bottom of the Christmas tree everyday when we clean up has been a long standing tradition. And our favorite Darth Vador ornament met his demise this year. I thought my husband was going to cry.

  13. Poor Santa! We do the chain link countdown however we are always off days because kids end up ripping them down too soon or we forget or….We tried the “formal” advent calendar a couple years and with each passing year items that were in the little pouches or box depending on which one used, woudl go missing. I am certain there is a little trinket graveyard somwhere in our house I just havent found it yet or rather cleand the area so to run across them. LOL. Have a great day!

  14. my two youngest have the cheapie chocolate too…….since I also have a climber, they are hidden WAY UP high. she can’t possible reach it….I hope and pray. My son got the big Lego Advent Calendar this year – thanks to Grandma. He doesn’t even miss the chocolate: although, grandma did include a bag of Hershey’s kisses for him just in case. It was tragic…..they seem to have disappeared! hhhhmmmmm…….wonder where they could be? not mama’s bedside table, for shame!

    • Haha! He’ll never miss what he doesn’t know about! I kept my chocolate calendars up high too, in a cabinet above the fridge. I suspect my husband got them down, but he conveniently has no recollection of the events from that morning.

  15. ah! That’s so sad! But I agree… it’s a hard lesson to have to follow through on, but you have to do it. Sometimes being a mom stinks when we have to follow through with discipline, doesn’t it? But more than anything else I feel sorry for you for… I feel sorry that you had to clean up the chocolate mess on the wall and the crib! ugh!

  16. I am so proud of you for enforcing the tough love! That would be so difficult, but it’s a very important thing for him to learn. You are doing the right thing!

    One year our tree tipped over (on tile) and shattered nearly every ornament I had collected over my lifetime and this year it seemed to be the kids goal to finish off the survivors. We’ve had lots of ornaments meet their demise this year, mostly by decapitation. Right now I am just grateful that I make them create ornaments every year (one for us and both grandparents) so that one day I might once again have a complete collection of the important ones!

  17. Thus far, our traditions have been very minimal. I am hoping that next year I can be more on the ball, and get a lot of things done ahead of time. 🙂

    i bet he has such a hard time watching everyone else get chocolate. Although I agree, it’s a lesson he needs to learn.

  18. Ya.. the kids had no self control over this “tradition” so I did away with it a few years ago.
    The one my kids like the most right now is me reading a different Christmas book each night.
    I am amazed at how much better they get ready for bed. Who knew? Time reading was better than chocolate.

    Makes me feel super guilty.

    • I like your reading tradition. I actually think my kids would love that too, especially if it was a different book every night. Now if I could just get myself to choose reading over chocolate. 🙂

  19. My little 17 month old has just now been introduced to the joys of chocolate. I will have to hunt down those chocolate advent calendars next year. What a brilliant idea…as long as there’s not crib hiding involved.

    I’ve been a total slacker this year and don’t have the tree up yet so I’m eager to see how little J will handle all those shiny toys…ornaments at such easy reach.

  20. Last year we made our own advent calendar out of fudge half with nuts and half without. It was amazing and much better than those little cheap ones. Unfortunately, about a week before Christmas, the fudge with nuts started to mold… We aren’t doing that again this year.

  21. Oh poor Dax! His chocolate isn’t even safe!

  22. I agree that the chocolate from those calendars is not tempting at all. Apparently our traditions include rearranging all the Christmas decorations daily. Annoying but it keeps the kids busy.

  23. At least it was just chocolate. Just sayin’. When my kids were younger, I had an all white Nativity set that my kids couldn’t seem to keep their hands off of. Baby Jesus ended up looking rather bedraggled. At least he was well loved, right?

  24. Awe! Poor guy! lol. Those chocolates are nasty, which is good for me because I’m not tempted to eat my daughters either. lol.

  25. oh!! Poor Mase!!! You’re a good Mama though. I know that has to be hard. I never really understand that whole: “this hurts me more than you” concept until I had a child. oh how true it is!

    and poor Santa!! looks like he needs a tylenol!

  26. Those poor ornaments! And the chocolate evidence–too funny. He needs to learn to be more stealth!

  27. The lesson to be learned just might be learned. My mom kept all of our presents in her closet. We weren’t even allowed in her room around Christmas. One year when I was home alone, I looked and knew absolutely everything I was getting that year. I thought it was great…until Christmas morning. Then it wasn’t so great. There was no surprise to be had. I’ve never snooped again.

  28. Oh dear.. poor guy! But you are right.. that is a good lesson!
    Wow.. I can’t say we have had many traditions go “tragic” but one interesting memory was the night last year we got the WHOLE tree decorated, and were sitting down to watch a movie, when the cat decided he wanted to climb the tree… no need to say any more. It fell over. 😛 Ahh, the joys of life! 😉

    Thanks for sharing!

    In Christ,

  29. Poor Santa! Many, many of my ornaments look like him. I keep them around because I’m strange like that. The memories of them being destroyed are just as precious as the memories of the ornament itself lol.

    And just be glad that’s chocolate and not poop!

  30. Aww, poor Mase! Hopefully he’ll learn so he doesn’t have to learn anything else the hard way!

    Also, poor Santa!

  31. ““You mean to tell me there is such thing as horrible Chocolate!!???

  32. Oh no! Poor Santa. My three year old tripped and fell onto a box of glass ornaments. He wasn’t hurt, but none of the ornaments made it!

  33. Oh, my mom always bought us those chocolate advent calendars too. 🙂 But I thought the chocolate was delicious! What a mean, mean mom you are for taking away Mase’s calendar!

    Very sad about quadruple amputee Santa. And they took his hat too! The indignity!

  34. Ha Ha! Last year I put the little chocolate calendars on top of my fridge. I don’t know what the logic was there since they get the cereal down from up there daily. We went to open the first door and I thought they felt a little lighter then normal. As it turns out putting them directly under a heating vent is a very bad idea…

  35. Sandra Tyler says:

    LOL! Poor Santa!

  36. Impulsive Addict says:

    I feel like the worst mother ever for not getting Emma an advent calendar. In my defense, I looked for one but I live in one craptastic town. Try not to be jealous about that. 😉

  37. Stephanie says:

    I need to do an advent calendar with my girls… maybe next year lol

  38. I remember the calenders with the chocolate! Since my one son is super allergic to peanuts I don’t buy them, but I ate my share of calenders when I was young and I can remember my sisters and I stealing each other’s candy! Takes something away from the meaning!! As always I adore you and your site! Thanks for a well needed smile!! oxox

  39. There is never a dull moment in your house, is there? 😉

  40. That’s the same kind of advent calendar my mom would buy me every year and I remember it fondly. I’m really in awe of all the fancy, creative advent calendars but don’t know if I’m crafty enough to accomplish something like that.

  41. This is our first year with the Advent calendar and every morning Kaylin wakes up and says “CHOCOLATE, I WANT MY CHOCOLATE!!!” little monsters, I tell you! It sits on the mantel, far out of her reach to avoid any crib crime scenes 🙂

  42. We have those advent calendars this year too. I’m still waiting for my toddler to get into her sister’s.

  43. that is really a pitiful santa. haha

  44. I think you are lucky it was just chocolate on the wall. Eating all of that yucky chocolate could have led to a major explosion (and you know what I’m talking about…). Oh my goodness! I’m sorry that the chaos in your house makes me laugh so darn much!! I do thank you for it though 🙂

  45. you know, when I saw the crib with chocolate…. it brought back a story that is written in my baby book for a lifetime of joy to read over and over when my parents walked in and found me, minus my diaper and pooh smeared all over the walls, crib and myself.. yeah.. that’s not the theme of this post, but my mind wandered. Poor Santa ornament. I bought all plastic balls for the tree… .and have yet to break out any of my Hallmark ornaments. Reese has already removed the lower layer of balls and I should not have used tinsel! What a flippin mess!! I want to do an Advent calendar next year… it might help stop the “Is today Christmas?” question.

  46. Hmmmmm, am I too old to get an advent calendar??! I wouldn’t mind getting a piece of chocolate every day until Christmas…… 😉

  47. Oh my goodness, how I’ve missed stopping by & reading your hilarious posts. You make me smile! I’m so crazy busy with Christmas & trying to keep my own blog going & I miss my blog friends! Your writing is SO much fun. The advent calendar reminds me of how I had to refill the pockets almost everyday because the boys kept eating ALL the candy.

    Warmly, Michelle

  48. My daughter just asked for one of those today!
    I had a feeling what was coming with his calendar though!

  49. That chopped up Santa is totally cracking me up! In our house, my kids can’t seem to keep from touching the light strands. My 2 year old has already zapped herself twice on the tiny wires sticking out of those tiny light sockets (which of course are exposed after my 4 year old breaks the tiny glass)!

  50. I love the handprints on the wall!
    Of course, I’m not the one cleaning it up.
    But it is funny!

  51. that poor Santa! Just go ahead and put him out of his misery!

  52. Hmm…my family always vows not to eat out for Christmas dinner but we always end up going through with our reservations because we’re too pooped to cook after presents!

  53. Poor Mose – he just couldn’t resist! Its strange that two of my children will be starting their own traditions that may or may not involve ours too. Weird

  54. That Santa with all of his missing parts is cracking me up! Poor Mase learning his lesson. I’m sure his siblings are just living that one up everyday;)

  55. Awe that is sad- but so good of you to make sure he learns his lesson. We always fought over who got to hang up the star on our advent calendar.

  56. Poor santa feel really sorry for him..Nice article though.

  57. This year I made a calendar using an idea I found at some website (can’t remember it now). I used wrapped toffeys since I couldn’t find chocolate, layed each piece on a long strip of wide tape about an inch apart, then taped it to a paper. I put this for both kids on the same paper and wrote the numbers on the flip side. Each day we cut one number off and they get their treat. I taped it high on a kitchen cabinet so they can’t reach it.

  58. Poor little guy. 🙂 I bet that is something he won’t forget though so hopefully won’t do it next year.

    We buy those awful chocolate calendars too. My kids think they’re fun even though they don’t like the chocolate either.

  59. aww, poor mr santa!! when i was little, i broke my brand new ballerina ornament. it was hanging from the fireplace and my mom told me i was NOT to touch it. well, i did. and both her legs broke off. i totally used gum to put her legs back on. there she was hanging there…later that night and all the sudden one of her “gummy” legs fell against the slate. my mom knew right away what i had done! 🙂
    those advent calendars DO have crappy chololate! i know what you mean! lol
    hoping you have many happy traditions this week <3
    lots of love xoxxo

  60. LOL…I buy my boys those cheap Advent calendars too! My son has that exact same one. They seem to love the chocolate, but I’m with you…GROSS.

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