Put simply, it was a red and green construction paper chain with one link for every day from Thanksgiving until Christmas. This was something we used to make as a decoration when I was in elementary school so, when our son was born, we worked it into the family traditions.
After dinner on Thanksgiving day, we would sit down with our son, Kevin, and we would make the chain. We took sheets of red and green construction paper and cut them into 2″ by 8″ strips. We took the first strip and folded it into a loop and glued (or stapled) the two ends together. Then, we took a strip of the other color, laced it through the first strip and glued the ends. We continued adding links, or alternating color, until we had one link for every evening.
Once the chain was done, we would hang it, in a vertical line, in the hallway leading to Kevin’s room. Each night, he could remove one link right before bedtime. The first few links were no big deal, but his excitement grew as the chain got shorter. By the time the chain was so short that Daddy had to pick Kevin up to remove a link, he was almost at a fever pitch. Before you knew it, there was only one little link left and that was to be taken down Christmas Eve. Let me tell you, he was downright jazzed when we got down to just one.
Of course, he did try to hurry things along by removing four or five links at once. We had to explain that it doesn’t work that way.
Kevin is now a grown man and we don’t do the chain anymore. To be honest, he wouldn’t need me to pick him up to get the last links anyway and I don’t believe that I could even if he did need it. Still, he counts the Christmas chain as one of his favorite Christmas memories and, you know what, his mom and I do too.