As the first step on my quest to recapture the magic of the holiday season, I decided to buy an advent calendar. One of my most cherished memories is the advent calendar my mother bought that was a wall hanging of a Christmas tree. Each ornament labeled with the days of the calendar were removable and on the back was a pocket. It came with a set of little toys that I have long forgotten, but what I remember is my mother making sure that that calendar was filled with new little surprises every year. Sometimes I would find a coin in them and sometimes she would purchase something that was too big for the pocket so I would find a note instead that led me to the gift. Every day of Advent had a little bit of that Christmas morning excitement. I have always appreciated the time and effort she put into creating a special holiday experience for me. In an expression of her love for me, my mother created much of the magic of the season that I am seeking to reconnect with. For years I have paused when I see advent calendars in stores and felt a tugging at my heart. After staring at the Starbucks’ version for a while (yes, I do get lattes at Starbucks), I finally decided to go ahead and get theirs. It is in the shape of a Christmas tree and has little drawers for each day that pull out to reveal a piece of chocolate (I happen to love to have a small piece of chocolate after dinner). While the contents of the drawers are not a big surprise and it lacks the quality of my hand-crafted childhood advent calendar, it provides a moment in my day when I remember that old childhood magic.