This all started out with the idea I had: Posting an ornament every day, as a countdown to Christmas, starting out on December 1st for 24 days. A portion of my idea was steeped into my childhood tradition of receiving, from my mother, an Advent ( means ‘Coming’ in Latin) Calendar every year.
I passed this tradition on to my daughter and she embraced it at a young age. But one of the most standout years took place when she was a young adult: Before our daughter returned home for the holidays, after her first semester at UC-Boulder in Colorado, I took some leftover Christmas plaid fabric, cut it up into squares–yes, 24 of them and packaged up what seemed to be an endless supply of simple gifts. I strung them on a clothesline across her bed, wall-to-wall, as a surprise for her upon her return. I wanted her to feel welcome back in her family home. She glistened when she saw the display and was even faithful about opening each plaid package, one day at a time!
Now, although an even older adult, she recently brought home Advent Calendars for all of us this year, including one for her dog/ my grand-dog! As you can see Jackson finds the wrapping paper far more fun than any gift he receives!
Somewhere in my decision of posting 24 days worth of ornaments, I got ‘wrapped up’ in the Advent Calendar. And, although I am not religious anymore, I became fascinated by the history of the Advent Calendar as well as the religious designation for each of the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas Day. The 4 weeks are symbolized by starting out with HOPE, then LOVE, then JOY, and, finally, PEACE. Great choices, don’t you think? You can read more here: https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/advent.shtml
As you can see as I move along with my posts and what you may have experienced while holiday shopping in the past, there are now innumerable styles of Advent Calendars offered. Here, for example, is a link to Jacquie Lawson’s online Advent Calendar: https://www.jacquielawson.com/advent
During this 1st week, I HOPE my photos of the Holiday season we are now beginning to enjoy, gives you some well-deserved soothing, comforting, restful feelings as we also continue to navigate ourselves through these final months of the pandemic, at least now knowing the vaccine is near.
Maybe you might also consider taking advantage of even less frantic shopping days since so many of us are handling our shopping online during the pandemic. Or, doing less shopping as so many of us seem to be expressing our gratitude in the form of realizing what we really hold the most dear–our relationships to family and friends, having our health intact, food on our table, a warm home, and even casual clothing to keep us dry and comfortable–and seem to really be the gifts that are the most notable this year.
Yes, a basketful of this ornament may still be able to be found in Paris.
The featured image at the top of the post is an Advent Calendar in the window of A la Mere de la Famille. They design a new one every year. Although they have 14 locations, at last count, in Paris plus additional ones elsewhere, this one happens to be in the 6th arrondissement which is where I call home when in Paris. Chocolates are their specialty and, yes, they have been known to give out samples. They are the oldest chocolate factory in Paris: https://www.lameredefamille.com/en/stores/
From my home to yours….
“Live every day with intention”.