|Sample advent calendar, W. Germany|
My mother loved advent calendars – the kind made of paper where you open the “windows” to reveal the line of a story or a little picture. During my years at home, we bought a new one every year, and after Christmas Mother carefully closed the little windows and tucked the calendar away in a box with all the others. My dad quietly disapproved. He thought the same calendar should be re-used year after year and the dollar saved. (That’s what they cost -- $1.00 each.)
|Note advent calendar on mantel|
It wasn’t so much the calendar that was important. It was the fun of watching for the calendars to appear in the store and then making a selection. It was a part of our holiday “getting ready” tradition and we enjoyed sharing that. At home, the calendar was placed on the mantel to wait until December First. Then, as we moved through the advent season, before I went to school in the morning, Mother and I would search for the appropriately numbered window and open it. Sometimes it wasn’t easy to find.
You know, there are some things you can do when you have only one child that just don’t work with a larger family. The advent calendar tradition with my mother was probably one of those things. In fact, I didn’t buy advent calendars for my three children. Instead, I made one from a kit and tied little candy canes on the rings – one per child per day from December 1 through December 24. I don’t know how interested they were really. I’m not sure they knew or cared that it was a countdown. In fact, eventually one kid confessed that he hated peppermint, so I switched to fruit-flavored canes. At any rate, it just wasn’t the same special event as that I shared one-on-one with my mother. Times change.
|Perhaps this is "the point south of home" to which Lafe refers.|
Friday, Dec. 4, 1896 – On this date at Gilbert:
Clear and bright most of the day. Also quite warm. Wind SE. Worked on the stable. Cut out the door. The point south of home bare of snow.
~ M. L. Dickson ~