Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A Late Start To Advent

Unfortunately I missed the start of Advent because I was away.  But the children were very understanding and I made sure that I was home on time to write their letters to St. Nicholas.

It is wonderful how traditions evolve from when you were a child yourself to when you have your own little family.  As a child we always celebrated St. Nicholas' day on 6th December.  We would  always wake up to plates of colourful foil wrapped chocolate Santas or coins.  Now with my children, on the night of 5th we write to St. Nicholas with their wish list for Christmas morning and leave them out with a glass of milk, some cookies and an apple or two for Rudolf.  As soon as they are finished getting the table ready, the kids rush up to bed so that they are asleep before the big man himself appears in the house and rings the Christmas bell on the landing.  This year they woke up to a sewing kit each and a small plate of treats.  This for our family marks the beginning of Christmas.

We did not finish the wreath until the second Sunday of Advent.  Growing up there was always a wreath for Advent and I loved the smell of the candles burning.  People always differ on the candle colours but my German father always said that there should be three red and one purple one for the fourth Sunday.  Hence the mismatched shapes.
 Just before Advent each year my father travelled to Germany and in his case when he returned there was always an Advent calendar for each of us.  The little cardboard ones and I would hang it up on my bedroom wall and open a window each day.
But now with my children we have our Advent calendar on the stairs.  We spend a long afternoon decorating it with holly, pine cones, cinnamon, lights and ribbons.  Patrick and Lucy each hang their own little red bag from the side. Two of Santa's Elves sit in the evergreen trees in front of our house and watch to see if they go to bed on time and behave well during the day.  If the have, then when they awake the next morning they will find that the Elves have come in and left a little chocolate sweet in each of their bags.
Christmas with the kids is so magical.  I just love it!

4 comments:

  1. Just catching up, love that Christmas market, so much to see, my head would be spinning! :)

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  2. In my family the tradition was always for white candles in the Advent wreath, but I think yours mirrors the colours assigned by the church to the advent Sundays.

    Loved reading about your trip ... that market looks spectacular!

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  3. Beautiful traditions, especially lovely sharing with your children.

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  4. These all sound like such fun traditions. Having grown up Protestant we didn't celebrate St. Nicholas's Day, but I wish we had! I like your Advent bags.

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