Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The onset of Advent

Sunday marked the beginning of Advent, but we are officially starting our countdown to Christmas everybody else.  Our advent calendar from year's past is still boxed away, but that will change soon enough.  I'm so EXCITED!  I la la la la LOVE Christmas!! 

Last December we found a kid-friendly advent calendar that we are anxious to debut for the boys this year.  It is a Pottery Barn Kids creation and it makes me very happy.  It is nothing fancy, all made from felt and easily duplicated if one were feeling crafty.  But, what makes it especially nice is that I didn't make it.  Plus, I like that it bears a remarkable resemblance to our actual Christmas tree -- even down to the slightly lopsided gold star on top.  Initially, we weren't sure what to put in the pockets of the new advent calendar, but eventually decided on candy canes they could place on the tree.  However, we're open to suggestions for future Christmases, so if you have any brilliant thoughts, please share.

We decorated our tree last week and were sad to discover we are missing a box of ornaments.  I am crossing my fingers they are in the last shipment of things coming from Caracas.  Over the years we have picked up ornaments from all the places we visit in lieu of souvenir t-shirts or other kitsch.  Many of our destination ornaments are in the missing box, so it would be unfortunate if they are gone forever.  Not the end of the world certainly, but sad.  Ah, the trials of putting all your worldly possessions into the hands of strangers every 2 years.  I go back and forth hundreds of times a year between leaving my most precious things in storage and wanting them with me to enjoy.  Thankfully, so far we've avoided any major mishaps, knock on wood.

We have also started buying nativity scenes from places we live and sometimes from places we visit if we can find them without too much difficulty.  It is always interesting to see how different countries and cultures depict the birth of Jesus. 
From left to right we have Columbia, Peru and Venezuela
This is our "traditional" nativity, (i.e. the one we've had the longest), which is from Spain
 Our new apartment is a bit on the small side and does not have a hutch or mantel or anything that naturally lends itself to hanging stockings.  So, we are improvising with this bookcase -- nice, huh?  I am confident Santa will be able to roll with it too.  In my dream house, we will have both a hutch and a mantel and maybe more than one of each.  But, that dream house is practically light years away so in the meantime, one does what one can.  Someday/year, I am going to finally embroider our names on our stockings so I don't have to remember from one year to the next whose is whose.  Kenny is no help with this, by the way.  Apparently, remembering stocking ownership falls into that amorphous category of "things the Mom is supposed to know," along with what to wear in family pictures, what's for dinner and where the scissors are.

Our halls are decked, the cider's mulling, our spirits are bright, the Christmas playlist is on repeat and our ears are cocked for the sound of sleigh bells.  Come on over for some Christmas cheer, we've plenty to share.


Nicol said...

We start our advent tomorrow too. Mine is made out of scrapbook paper envelopes and in each I put an activity that we'll do that day. Something simple like paint finger nails (I have two girls), cut paper snowflakes or go on a walk. Also larger things like lights on Temple Square or a family Christmas party.

I love the idea of picking up ornaments. I did that this summer but now wish I had done it in the past.

Z. Marie said...

So I'm not the only woman in charge of keeping track of scissors? That drives me CRAZY!

Lane said...

Love the missing names for the stockings. Maybe go old school with glue and glitter?
~ Lane

Rain in My Head said...

My mom used to put a little ornament (sometimes just a magazine cutout with felt or a hangy thing on it) that represented one of the names of Jesus in each box and we would talk about his different roles leading up to Christmas (carpenter, alpah and omega, advocate, the son, etc. .etc. .).

Julie said...

I love your creche collection and especially that you have chosen to collect ornaments from where you have gone rather than some other souvenir. Thanks for sharing your Christmas preparations.

Kristy said...

Just yesterday I pulled out my nativity from Peru and thought of your family. I am so grateful you drove me to that artisans home so I could get one for our family! It is my favorite Christmas decoration.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i love international nativities. hopefully you'll have a chance to visit one of those big nativity-fests put on by local churches, where the whole community brings in their sets and displays them. amazing.

sienna said...

i love the nativities too. and tony is always asking me where the scissors are, even if he used them last. i love your advent calendar too, so much fun.

Anonymous said...

I love th nativities. I also love the idea of collecting ornaments! I'm so glad it December! :)


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