Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Advent Adventure

I remember the good old days when the only way you knew it was getting close to Christmas was when the advent calendar came out.  I don’t think my mum was cheap, (sorry mum) but I had the same one every single year and it wasn’t one of those fancy calendars with chocolate.  Oh no, I had the one with a little nativity picture behind every door.

The excitement grew throughout the month as every morning you ran to find the door of the day and open it before school.  I got to know that calendar so well that I pretty much knew what each picture was going to be. But somehow, it didn’t take any of the thrill out of it.   The day of the 24th was always the best because there was a double door! [*squee*]  I already knew there would be a picture of baby Jesus in his manger, but I didn’t care because the next day the big man himself would be here.
This is how I remember it
It really was a brilliant Christmas that first year the calendars came with Cadbury chocolate behind each door. Of course, I was too old by then to have one, but my children benefited nicely.  I’m not sure exactly how healthy it was to have a lump of chocolate before school every day for a month, but it did get them out of bed quicker, I must say.

It all changed when we got to America. It seems like nobody knew what an advent calendar was. My poor kiddies had to wait for some kind relative to send one to us each year, which invariably did not arrive until the middle of December.  This was actually fine by them as they got to eat two weeks worth of chocolate in one day.

It was like an actual Christmas miracle that first year I found an advent calendar here.  I was probably in one of those swanky “European” shops which sometimes sell PG Tips and Christmas Crackers. But there they were, up on the shelf, just glowing and calling out to me.  Of course I had to buy two and those flippin’ things were expensive.  (Now I know why I had the same one every year).

Over the years, they have become more available, but obviously still not as popular as in England. On a recent shopping trip, I noticed that America, apparently, still doesn’t entirely understand the advent calendar concept.  These things are everywhere – can you spot the problem?  You’ve got to put your own “stuff” in each day.  Where’s the excitement about that?  No, just no.  Sorry America, please go back to the drawing board.
I don’t have any children living at home anymore, so really, the Advent Calendar days are behind me…. Or so I thought.  Then I found this little beauty.  It's a Gin calendar... GIN!!  Please, please can someone buy one for me. And no, I don't care that it will be half way through the month.  I'm sure I can handle it.  Thank you. And Happy Christmas!!  [to me]

Gin - Don't mind if I do!!
Oh, and for all those US born peeps who still don't understand what I'm talking about - and I know you're out there because I've asked many of you, this is from Wikipedia:
An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. Since the date of the first Sunday of Advent varies, falling between November 27 and December 3 inclusive, the Advent calendar usually begins on December 1, although many include the previous few days that are part of the season. The Advent calendar was first used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries but is now ubiquitous among adherents of many Christian denominations.

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