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Holidays

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It seems there’s never any shortage of ‘must-have’ holiday items—things marketers bend over backwards trying to convince us are essential. Cedar-scented candles, Santa-themed dishtowels, and endless strings of twinkle lights are lovely to have, I’ll admit, but it’s not illegal to celebrate the holidays without them. What is a must-have in my house, is an advent calendar. Although my kids would disagree, it’s not about the toy or the chocolate; it’s about the daily reminder that the second-most magical season of the year is upon us. (The first being back to school, obviously.) Opening that tiny, perforated square is a chance to pause and appreciate what a special time Christmas and Hanukkah are, and to build excitement not just for stockings and toys, but for time together and (if we’re really lucky), the true meaning of the season. So here are 22 of our favorite advent calendars for kids; from…