30/11/2022 0 Comments
Why is an Advent Calendar so special?
As a child, my Aunt would be the one who brought us our Advent Calendars.
There was a shop called 'The Library & Music Shop', so called because it sold books and music ... I know, and they had Medici Cards. The Medici Society was founded in 1908 as a publisher of art prints and cards and I always thought that Medici cards were obviously the poshest because people would talk about them with that hushed voice of reverence.
The Advent Calendar theme would always be either religious or feature Father Christmas and the numbers would appear non sequentially so you had to hunt the number that you were looking for.
Each window would open to a drawing with the final one, the 24th December showing the manger scene. This always confused me because Christmas Day was the 25th. Never did get to the bottom of that one.
Advent calendars have their origins, as do many modern Christmas traditions, in Germany during the 19th Century. Just like Christmas trees, we, here, in the UK, embraced them.
My mum worked for a lovely couple who were German / Austrian and one year they gave me an advent candle. I liked sitting in the twilight and watching the candle burn down to the next number.
I treated a friend to one, as a present, one Christmas. They lit it, and promptly forgot about it.
Well, as you can imagine, it burnt down, past the next day and a few more days.
All I got was a complaint from them that it was a waste of time. Perhaps, occasionally, traditions are wasted on some people!
These days, you can have presents in your calendar.
Hubby has a tea advent calendar. It's a great way to try out different flavours and an excuse to take a little time for himself as he makes his cup of tea and sits and drinks it.
I have indulged in a chocolate advent calendar. Rather than just gobbling the choccies as I do with other things, I'm going to take a moment, each afternoon, and sit and eat my daily truffle.
Now that is a form of mindfulness I can cope with.
27/11/2022 0 Comments
A tree is a tree, is a tree, is a tree
As a child, I would go with my mum on Christmas Eve to the greengrocers and buy our Christmas tree.
It would be left in the garden until my father came home, then he would put it into a large bucket of sand, then the bucket into a decorative box that he made years ago.
On the front of the box was a paper cut tree on red paper that I think I made in Infant School. It got turned around in different directions depending on how big the tree was (so whether or not the tree was in the box or on the box).
There would be around 20 minutes of wobbling the tree to get it straight.
Now with our artificial tree, getting it straight involves playing with 3 screws in the base of the tree stand. Far easier.
As with most of the things involved with Christmas, my mother would save up the money to buy the tree from her part time job. The tree would be up only until the 12th day of Christmas and would always be taken down for the 6th January. The idea that it would be up any longer just didn't cross anyone's mind.
During these early years of my childhood, my maternal grandmother lived in the first house in our road. She always had an artificial tree, a silver tinsel one. I thought it was rather magical.
My parents' friend, who lived opposite us had a green tinsel tree which they always hung long silver strands of silvery tinsel stuff on and 'angel hair' to look like snow ... I think it was just some form of thin cotton wool. I always felt it very busy looking and was secretly worried that it might catch fire!
From our first Christmas together, hubby and I always had a real Christmas tree but back in 2016 we decided that it was time to move to an artificial one as we were having problems sources trees that hubby liked.
I didn't realise that buying an artificial Christmas tree would take us 3 months and visits to over 6 garden centres! But we found it in the end.
When we first got together, hubby and I bought a set of cheap baubles from Ikea (where we also got our first tree). As we travelled around together, we bought decorations to remind us of our travels and I also made hubby a decoration each year.