Travel Dreaming Advent Calendar

My Dear Adventuring Friends,As today is December 1, this is the first day that many people begin their counting down to Christmas with an Advent calendar. I have a special place in my heart for a good Advent calendar, and I am going to make one for you.Advent calendars are a uniquely European tradition, most likely originating as candles or marks on a wall in Protestant Germany about 200 years ago. The printed calendars with little doors have been around since the beginning of the 20th century, and have become widely popular, even if they had a solely religious use in the past.My mother made a felt calendar in the 1970's, a Christmas tree with an ornament that you'd add each day. I got to pin an ornament to the tree every other day since I had to share with my sister. Nothing was as pleasing as being the girl with the even days, because that meant you'd get to put the star on top on the 24th. It's funny how such a little thing was so very pleasing as a kid. I'm not sure that anything in my adult life feels quite as delightful as that did.Because I think that little delights are more important than ever, I am putting together Advent calendars, one for my kids with Legos, and one for you. (Sorry if you were hoping for the Legos...)Here is the deal: every day from now until Christmas I promise to deliver a little treat into your inbox (if you subscribe). I'll have a few articles about gifts, some recipes, some stories, music and so on. All of it will be with a spirit of travel and adventure to help inspire your travel dreams.Most days, I'll focus on a country in Europe and tell you about their Christmas traditions. To this end, I have drawn a map for you....Feel free to print this, hang it on a wall and follow along with me. Each day, I will color in a part of the map along with my post of the day. I realize it would be more fun if I could make a piece of chocolate pop out of a country for you every day, but my skills do not yet reach to magic. Maybe someday. For now, you could trick out your map by taping chocolate to it! Or maybe buy a bottle of wine from each country and open it when I color it? Use your imagination if you'd like to up the ante on this little experiment.I wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season, and I hope you'll play along.Love,Sarah