December 14 … a stop on the Virtual Advent Tour
December 13, 2010 § 20 Comments
The Virtual Advent tour first started five years ago when Kailana of The Written Word and Marg at Adventures of an Intrepid Reader wondered why the kids should have all the fun of opening a box on the advent calendar and finding a treat in there, and how could they create some blogging fun with a similar concept? So the Virtual Advent tour was born.
Each day participants take turns sharing a treat with friends here in blogland. Maybe it’s about family traditions, recipes, a country’s holiday traditions, or a favourite Christmas memory, movie, book, song…anything. In fact, it’s for all holidays celebrated this time of year. Click on the Reindeer Tag to the right to see other wonderful sites to visit during this blog-ventful tour!
1) Reading aloud A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Dickens has been a family tradition for more than 17 years, from when Snarl was 4 and Nor,9. It began when we moved to STL. We’d begin after Thanksgiving, cozied around the fireplace, HM and I taking turns reading. And then Nor wanted to participate. Snarl , always opting for parity, caught on by the third year in part because he’d already memorized some of it. But his “fake” reading turned to real reading right before our eyes. Thank you, Mr. Dickens, for growing a story that wraps up a family in holiday meaning and spirit from Stave I to Stave 3’s last famous line “And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!”
2) Decorating the mantle. I didn’t realize ’til just this evening what a tradition this is. I was going for “elegant” this year, sort of “stripped down” in terms of appearance, using only white and gold, more of a designer look. It didn’t work. I found it cold.
So I’ve gone back, popped the lights onto the mantle, and added the lovely flotsam and jetsma of Xmases past and present that makes it warmer. Spirited. Maybe romantic.
3) We also WATCH Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Yes, we read it, but we also watch it. OK, sometimes it’s on as background, but it’s there.We did, during the VHS era, own every version at that time. Now in DVD world, we are once again working the collection though we are all, oddly, loathe to add the Jim Carey version. Haven’t fallen in love with that one yet..
And this is the time of year we refer to HM as “Fezziwig.” It’s his innate merriness and willingness to set aside the mundane and celebrate the season. And he specializes at pouring the ‘nog and setting out trays of nibblies.
4) These are not in order. I forgot to mention Black Friday when Nor and I head out early to the stores. We go without lists; we go to stroll, see what strikes us, observe, get ideas and enjoy. We might buy a new Christmas decoration or jigsaw puzzle. We might stumble across the perfect gift for someone.Then we go out to breakfast.
5) Wreathmaking! We take a “class” yearly at the Botanical Garden where you show up looking a little holiday-ish if you like and are given everything needed, along with a lesson and tips on creating a gorgeous all-natural wreath. This year, needing to attend a weeknight rather than weekend class, we were out in the proverbial “middle of nowhere” at one of MoBot’s locales, at a hunting lodge. It was like something out of a movie, lit inside with Christmas lights, smelling of pine and fir, a huge table to work at and buckets of natural branches and grasses to use in our wreaths. And at one point during the evening, 30 strangers making wreaths burst into song. Loved it. We took my Mom this year as well. (see why we call HM “Fezziwig?”)
6) Concerts at the Cathedral have long been a family fave but our beloved Cathedral music director recently moved to Philly (much to his good professional fortune) and so we have turned elsewhere for finding Christmas music and entertainment. But there will be at least once if not several trips to the Cathedral nonetheless.
I don’t intend to bore or cause a snore; yet I could stitch together more little stories, so many moments about setting up our creche and missing the shepherd who must have wandered off; of hanging up the stockings and trying to figure out whose is whose; of inadvertently opening the wrong window on the advent calendar and having to then swtich places or lose a turn in line; of staying up to wrap and seeing the Christmas Eve service in Rome…
That is the blessed things about each family, right? There are so many things, so many expressions and phrases, so many foods and fun things that happen year long and then whoosh, it’s Christmas when every loving detail is heightened, and everything takes on that rich friends-and-family patina, that shine of love.
To you and yours, a very Merry Christmas!
To you and yours, the happiest of Holidays!