3 December 2011

Christmas traditions


Apologies for being away so long but I have some exciting things to share...

Over the course of the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas I am going to share a few Christmas traditions. I am unashamedly excited by Christmas and the more I talk to people about it, the more I realise how special our own traditions are. Each tradition makes our Christmas what it is.

So, I figured that during the season of goodwill it would be great to share some traditions with each other. Maybe we can give ideas or maybe we can just really enjoy connecting over a really special time of year.

I am going to start with the theme of advent. The theme will be “live” from now to next Thursday. What are your advent traditions? How do you start preparing for advent? Do you have an advent calendar?

My advent traditions are ingrained into Beach family Christmas. In many respects my family are traditional and so for many many years advent calendars were strictly non chocolate. Mind you as a child finding a picture every morning was still very exciting.

My two brothers and I would each receive a calendar from our two sets of grandparents and they would arrive in the post at some point through November and remain on display waiting for Advent. It was always fun to admire the pictures on them and assess who had the most glitter on their calendar. It was fun to see them sitting on the sideboard just waiting to be opened on the first of December.

Even now I still go to bed on the 30th of November feeling excited that soon I can prise that little door open. The first day of advent duly came and we would rush downstairs to find the number one. One at a time we would open the door and admire the picture behind the window. I always tore my doors off while the littlest brother kept his open. The middle one went through a stage of tearing the doors off and keeping them in a box in his room! Even in opening the advent calendar we had our own traditions!

As we got older my mum discovered that there was such a thing as a playmobil advent calendar. Well, let me tell you that the excitement reached fever pitch. A plastic figure in each box! Far far more exciting than a picture.

Not only did we have an advent calendar each but also an advent candle on the table. Each breakfast it was lit and we watched the number slowly burn down.

Over the years the advent calendar excitement dimmed, yet we all still receive one in the post from my grandma and we now - much to our mothers consternation- buy our own chocolate ones! The candle is still on the table each December and the cat still tries to knock it over!

Advent for us was always about preparing, of waiting and of expectancy.

What are your advent traditions?

If you blog about them please leave a link in the comments so we can all share and feel free to take the christmas traditions picture at the top of the post!

Thanks for stopping by.



scrappyjacky said...

I used to love those glittery advent calendars....and the double door on the 24th with the Nativity inside.

Lorraine said...

Our time honored tradition of Advent
And a new one
Thanks for this post.

Sian said...

ahh, now tearing the doors off - that would be outlawed in our house because our advent tradition is me ironing shut the doors from last year's calendar so we can use it again lol It's a sneaky tip I picked up from my own mum

Jimjams said...

As a child I used to have a paper advent calendar and never realised you could tear off the doors - but I wouldn't have anyway as I needed to know which order they'd been opened in (!) I remember being very disappointed with advent calendars with chocolate behind the doors as they would quite often fall out behind the cardboard so you often opened a door to find an empty space!

furrypig said...

I used to have paper advent calendars growing up, now my children have choccy ones from us but always a paper one usually with a picture of the nativity from the grandparents. We also have an elf that comes to visit us from December 1st and he suggests advent activities or brings advent gifts each day. This year he has brought the choccy advent calendars, bought the new Harry Potter DVD, given boxes of Christmas cards to write and lent us the box set of 3 Santa Clause movies!

Lizzie said...

How lovely! We had (have!) Advent calendars too, but ours were re-used each year (I remember my mother's outrage at a guest who tore the door off, when allowed to open it!!). We each owned a special calendar - I still have mine, it has the story of the Little Drummer Boy, told in daily installments.
My DS has a calendar each year. His does contain chocolate, but it also has the Christmas Story from the Gospels, in daily sentences. So he gets his Advent with his chocolate!
We had an Advent Wreath, with 5 candles. On each Sunday in Advent, an extra candle was lit - one on the 1st Sunday, 2 on the 2nd etc. The final candle was lit at Christmas. My mother still has this wreath (wonder where it is, I did her tree today, but I didn't find the wreath... must look tomorrow!).
This year, I unpacked the Advent Candle, which we were given a bit late last year, so I had put it away. It spent the year in the loft. Imagine how much we laughed, to see that the temperature changes in the loft had melted/reset it into a great curly candle! So no Advent candle just now...
Great post, Abi. I will look out for the next one!

Lorraine said...

An elf from Dec 1st (furrypig) very interesting.