Getting ready for the holidays can be stressful so let’s not get even more stressed because some of us have to do it gluten free. For the next 12 days I’ll be posting articles to my Gluten Free Twelve Days of Christmas series. I’ll be sharing ideas, products and recipes to hopefully make your holidays more joyful.
Today is the day that we unpack our Christmas décor. It is also the first day of the month for a long awaited countdown. I remember as a child always looking forward to December 1st as the day we were presented with our chocolate advent calendar.
This year is especially exciting for my son as this will be his first chocolate advent calendar since he was diagnosed celiac over 2 year ago. The past couple of years always presented new challenges at this time of year and I wasn’t able to find an advent calendar that was gluten-free. We just had a package of Hershey kisses stashed away in the cupboard and he was given one each morning and then he would move the counter on his fabric Christmas countdown. It did the trick, but didn’t have the same excitement since there was no surprise.
As kids, I remember my sister and I in our traditional morning search for the correct date hidden somewhere in the colourful Christmas scenery on our calendars. Then, after we found and opened the little doors and pulled out our chocolate, we each declared exuberantly “I got a reindeer” or “I got a bell.” Opening a little surprise each morning only seemed to heighten our awareness of what it was all leading up to; Christmas morning. The past couple of years I couldn’t’ help but feel that I was letting my son down. Like I was allowing him to miss out on this wonderful experience.
This year the search started about a month ago. We would see the calendars in the stores and he would run over to pick one up and look it over for a gluten free logo and then hand it to me to read through the ingredients. Each time it was always the same disappointment. “I’m sorry sweetheart but you aren’t able to eat this one.”
Then one day last week when we were in the store, he saw another brand of calendar. We read through the ingredients list eagerly and again we put it down in disappointment. I was ready to leave but he noticed another. “Mommy, I can eat Kinder Surprise Eggs. Can I have this one?”
I never realized that Kinder had put out a calendar. I had never seen one before. The further I read through the list of ingredients without finding any source of gluten, I started to feel hope building inside of me. Everything looked safe, but was it? We put it down and I promised to contact Kinder to find out for sure and do you know what? It is gluten free and he doesn’t know that we bought one!
I don’t know who’s going to be more excited; me to give it him or him to find and open those little doors each morning.
In case I was unable to find a chocolate calendar, this year I was prepared with some other ideas. If you are a DIY kind of person, you might enjoy the ideas in these links.
What kind of advent calendar do you have at home?