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Monday, 30 November 2009

Pause in Advent

As I rushed around yesterday doing mundane housey chores, bigger painty chores and christmas preparation type chores. I thought of the irony that I am taking part in Floss's Pause for Advent.
My life is full and busy, and I don't use my time sensibly all of the time, so pausing during advent to think about what christmas really means to our family is a good idea. I was hoping that by this stage of the year, my christmas crafting would have been complete, my presents would have been bought and wrapped and that I could be sat back enjoying december with the boys. Obviously that hasn't happened, but I do still plan to take time out to enjoy the boys getting ready for the festivities, for the time we are all off school and work together with nowhere to go, we can relax, welcome guests, take time to enjoy being a family. Instead of the usual weekend cramming in jobs and activities.
After making my advent calendar..heavily influenced by this one...I decided that this year as well as a chocolate treat the boys could have a little note, letting them know how many sleeps are left and details of an activity that we can do each day. The idea taken from here. I am thinking I will include going with daddy to choose a tree, watching big brothers stagecoach panto, making cards, colouring in christmas colouring books, making cookies, going to see Father Christmas...any other ideas gratefully recieved!!
The suggestion was met with mucho eye rolling from Mr 14 year old, though I suspect he will be just as eager to see what the note says each day and will be the first to get stuck in to a painty, gluey, glittery activity!!
As well as the new handmade calendar, the big boys have their shop bought choccy ones, I have a traditional door opening one, we have the advent tree (as blogged about last year), now 14 years old and slightly worse for wear after the baby got hold of it last year...and an advent candle. This was bought for last years advent period and mislaid, the plan is to light it at dinner each evening......
As a family we are not especially religious, but one of our family traditions is to make sure that the boys know that the meaning of christmas extends beyond chocolate calendars and gift lists!!
(We always just assumed they realised until W, when he was about 7 or 8 said isn't Jesus lucky having his birthday on Christmas Day......).
We are already introducing a few christmas story books at bedtime and I will now be reading them The Christmas Story alongside Maisy's Christmas Eve and suchlike...
And this delightful stitchery will be displayed during advent as a reminder to us all....
(picture and stitchery courtesy of Miss Hetty Rosepepper)
Today I need to deliver these advent cards to the mums....we found them on a stall selling Japanese stationary on a Christmas market in New York...really wish I had got one for me too!!


Lalabibaby said...

With you on this one .... the minded children were full of chatter about advent calendars this morning but not one of them could tell me what it meant and why we had Christmas ... when told that they were very lucky and that a lot of children in the world don't get anything one chirped up that was because they were naughty ... we are not a religious family either but that doesn't mean we don't pause to think about the true meaning. I partly blame the schools for removing all reference in case they offend someone. We watched my girls 1992 traditional infant nativity video yesterday .... brought tears to my eyes x

VintageVicki said...

Think between you and Lalabibaby you've summed things up really well.

I've just remembered I meant to buy an Advent Candle in Ipswich today and forgot - am hoping the local shops come up trumps tomorrow.

Love the calendar you made - really is gorgeous.

Mary Poppins said...

Ohooo what alovely post Claire :) i am with on everything there, to many I wants i wants for my liking, I feel quite blessed that my DD is not hankering after the latest computer game and such like, though i am sure that time shall come. My DHs parent are quite religious so my children have been quite aware of the true meaning of Christmas for a while, though I always do my best to keep reminding them :)

Beautiful advent, and lovely stitchery. Not my normal Christmas self, the house is nowhere near finished and can't be bother to decorate, the look isn't to appealing against bare plastered walls, bricks everwhere, etc.

Though should do something for the children's sake.



TheMadHouse said...

I am a fellow Advernter from over at Flosses and I too am totally with you. My boys DO NOT have a chocolate advent calender. I am using this time to teach them about the real reason for christmas. Your advent calenders from NY are lovley

Floss said...

Ooh, so much to ogle and think about too - a really nice mixture! The calendar you made is so pretty. On my very first pre-Advent post (late October I think) Sarah from a Beach Cottage had suggestions for ideas a bit like your little notes.

She included things like 'drink cocoa in front of the fire' and 'go for a drive to see the Christmas lights', if I remember rightly. It's a great idea but I have to admit that my boys' days are 'trop chargée' already and I don't dare sugggest anything extra for them to do on top of school from 8:30 to 5:00, lots of homework and walking the dog. I guess we'll do Christmas lights and dogwalking sometimes...

So, great post and have a lovely (relaxed???) week!

Elaine said...

A lovely post (((Claire)))
In this hectic buy-up world we live in, pausing to consider the real meaning of Christmas has become less than secondry. I pray your post will shine a little light in a dark world.
Love your calendars too. We've not got one this year, not the same without the dog begging for the chocs, but we did go to our Advent Gift service yesterday, where some less well off children will now be receiving some of the lovely gifts people gave.
And I have one of Hetty's wonderful stitcheries too. That will be put up later today, along with the rest of the "high-up" decs.

Love and blessings

Lajoni said...

Oh I love your advent calender, I've been watching its progress and its really lovely, very precious.

Country Bliss said...

Lovely advent calendar and a great idea to put notes in too.
Yvonne x

The sewing room said...

Hi Claire what lovely advent calenders and great ideas with the little notes,must get my two youngest one pretty sharpish they still like them even at 15 and 17 LOL.Talking of xmas could you please E mail me your address for the xmas swap at many thanks.

Hugs Pat

Lina said...

Your calendar looks beautiful, what a great job. We started off with a chocolate treat and tomorrow I have some origami paper which my 6 year old is really interested in!