Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmas Advent…ures…

December has finally arrived and it brings with it the Christmas tradition of advent calendars – whipping children up into an absolute frenzy (usually through ingestion of concentrated amounts of sugar) before a fat bearded man (not my husband) brings them lots of presents for no apparent reason. That said, I do recall that there are some religious connotations with the festive season and the concept of Advent, but anyway… back to chocolate and presents. When I was growing up (to be clear, I mean when I was a child…) this consisted of a cardboard calendar with pictures of stars and holly behind each of the windows (pointless! - no chocolate or presents!). This was replaced over the years by the chocolate advent, which I can only image was conceived by someone who doesn’t have children and who doesn’t understand the concept of sugar induced hyperactivity! My husband believes that I have been sustained in an irreversible state of sugar induced excitability as a consequence of too many chocolate advent calendars. Unfortunately, these chocolate calendars weren’t great – the chocolate tasted truly awful, not improved by being hung in on a wall and enclosed in a cheap cardboard box for up over a month…

I fondly remember the anticipation of Christmas Day (and still get ever so slightly over excited during this period, combined with huge expectations of a traditional/stereotypical Christmas and lots of presents) and how long it always seemed to take to arrive (this is no longer the case, but I think it is simply due to getting older and having a much more mature perspective on the passing of time… and I have stopped anticipating the arrival of Christmas from January 1st). So, based on my experience of Christmas, advent calendars are important and sharing an advent calendar with your children will help to build the excitement and anticipation and give them something special to look forward to each day in the run up to Christmas.

In order to avoid the genuine disappointment associated with many of the chocolate advent calendars on the market, how about making your own? – that, or lobbying Lindt to create a calendar with sizeable chunks of 80% dark chocolate infused with chilli (my as yet unsuccessful seasonal campaign – they’ve done the bunny, why not the advent…). I know we are already just into December, but there is nothing stopping you from making a bespoke advent calendar for a loved one or for the family over the coming weekend. I thought I would share with you two homemade advent calendars that really captured my imagination…

Loving the idea below as it is so simple, but just brilliant and beautiful. It consists of wrapping presents in paper bags tied with string and hanging them on the wall with clothes pegs… given the creativity of the idea, I can’t possibly imaging what the little gifts are. I’m thinking very nice things with diamonds in…

(Image from  Kjerstis Lykke)

Also loving this unique fridge-magnet style advent calendar, with little surprises inside the tins.

(Image by Jessie from Friendly Badger via Narrating Life)
Use your imagination… there must be so many different ways to create 24 special little gift repositories. But right now I need to get back to my Lindt ‘build upon the bunny’ campaign… or, actually, create my own bespoke calendar filled with Lindt surprises…

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