Advent calendars

This year I am reusing the Reclaiming Paradise advent calendar from a couple of years ago. I usually make a new one each year but this year I’ve been busy making them for other people and didn’t quite get round to my own one. That’s fine as I’ll get the excitement of discovering a new gift from the garden behind these windows:

All was revealed when I posted this on the blog in 2017 – have a look there if you want to find out what’s behind the windows.

I didn’t make a new one for myself this year but I’ve gone a bit overboard in making them for other people, particularly those who are far from me, but also for my mother who is nearby but needs a little extra cheer.

They all feature things that I hope the recipients will appreciate!

Advent calendars may seem a little childish (especially colouring in ones) but for me they do bring back the childlike joy of this time of year. We always had window calendars in my childhood (before the invention of chocolate ones) and one year a Scandinavian friend sent us one where you had to stick a picture on each day. I loved those and I made my own stick on calendars when I was a teenager, with a build your own nativity scene and a baby to add to the manger on Christmas Eve. I’m not religious these days but I still like the idea of a waiting time in December, without too much extra consumerism, before the Christmas celebrations. They’ve also given me a chance to do some drawing on some dark nights in the last few weeks, at a time when I’ve been stuck behind a laptop all day and can’t get out into the garden much.

In 2018 and 2019 I had a photo advent calendar instead, celebrating all that was #WildandWonderful, trying to find a moment of joy in each day of December running up to Christmas. December 2018 had some particular challenges for me and so those moments of joy were very important. This year I’ll do the #WildandWonderful advent again and I’ll use the old store cupboard for the window opening excitement. I’m not sure how it will work, without the daily commute but I’ll make an effort to find something every day. The secret, for me, is not to plan it but to wait and see what strikes me as particularly joyous each day: birdsong, a sunset, someone singing in the street, a laughing baby. I’ll let you know what I find.

Here’s my find for 1st December. I was out and about and enjoying all the Christmas lights. They seem even more necessary this year . I didn’t want to photograph people’s houses but I caught this street tree, all lit up by a street light, looking rather festive:

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