Yes, it’s that time of year again. Dig out Delia, find the tacky CDs… let’s get ready for Christmas! I’m feeling remarkably festive already. I think it’s because with a little one in the house, the build up feels more relevant and fun. He might not quite understand what’s going on yet, but we’ve watched ‘man’ (The Snowman) on DVD twice already and I’m sure we’ll watch it again before Christmas. The Muppets Christmas Carol has been purchased and will be viewed at some point soon.
Thanks to the liberal use of Post It notes, preparations this year are going well. The Christmas cake is made and is ‘maturing’ (with the help of a bottle of brandy), the Christmas puddings are cooked, there’s stuffings (thanks, WoollyDaze Too), cooked red cabbage and sausagemeat in the freezer, the presents are mostly bought and wrapped. The turkey has yet to be ordered but my husband’s supposed to be doing that and I do keep reminding him. He thinks this is far too early to prepare for Christmas. Vegetarian Christmas dinner, anyone? I need to make and freeze mince pies, and write the Christmas cards. But all-in-all, this house might just be a panic-free zone this year. Remind me I said that on about 23rd December, won’t you?
When you were young, did you find an essential part of the countdown to Christmas was digging out the advent calendar? In our household, the decorations weren’t put in until the last Saturday before Christmas so up until then the advent calendar was the only reminder that something very exciting was approaching. We had the same advent calendar year after year. With three and then four children in the family, we followed a strict routine of opening the doors in turn and could have told you what was behind each door before it had been opened. But that’s wasn’t really the point.
For the next generation of youngsters in the family, we seem to be starting a tradition of making advent calendars. Three years ago WoollyDaze Too and I knitted Alan Dart’s advent calendar (Ravelry link) for our nephew. It took us forever. We went on holiday together in September and we were definitely knitting it then. I remember because I had my hand luggage searched at the airport, having packed a gift-wrapped candle as a wedding present without thinking about how that might seem a little fuse-like on an x-ray machine. In my bag was also the glittery wool that I was using as the numbers on the pockets, and that seemed more interesting and amusing to the security staff. WoollyDaze Too was knitting the background ‘present’ structure, and then we split the different shapes between us. To finish it in time, we stayed up until 4am on a Friday night at the end of November, drinking wine and eating chocolate raisins to keep us going. It’s a wonderful heirloom and something that will be treasured and I’m really glad we did it, but never again.
Therefore when the time came to create an advent calendar for Little Woolly, exactly what and how was a problem. I tentatively suggested an idea to WoollyDaze Too only to find that she’d already taken the initiative and bought a sheet of printed fabric. The result was presented mid-November without the accompanying late night beforehand. Today, Little Woolly hung the first shape. I feel I should end the story there as the making of this advent calendar is not my story, and hand over to WoollyDaze Too to continue…