Sunday, 27 November 2016

Here comes Advent - 1

There was a rather rash promise at the end of my last post "The blog will be back soon, on Advent Sunday, with the first of four seasonal posts".....

When I stopped to consider,I realised that I had only returned from the Czech Republic armed with material for three Advent or Christmas posts and would therefore have to create something here in order to make good on the promise.

And here we are at 4pm on the First Sunday in Advent and nothing written yet!   

I love Christmas and all that comes before it.  It has always been a very special time in our family and with friends and relatives from all over Europe, we have adopted traditions running from Advent Sunday right through to Twelfth Night on the 6th January.   

But one of my favourites has to be what I learned in Germany when I was 17 - the writing of our Christmas Wish Lists on Advent Sunday.   As soon as it gets dark, we all gather round the table, with a blank sheet of paper in front of each of us and many coloured pencils.   By the light of the first of the four candles on the Advent Wreath, and sustained by Pfeffernüsse and Spekulatius, we write and decorate our lists. 

And here's the very first one I ever wrote..... 

I fear my drawing skills have not improved over the past sixty odd years!   Once they are written we pin them up on a board so everyone can see what they might buy as Christmas gifts.

So what better than to recreate this scene in miniature, with whatever I could find here - unfortunately pretty well everything I use to create is over in the Czech Republic.   

But before the guests are allowed to sit down to list-writing and German cookies, another Advent tradition - building a gingerbread house.  Although I have to confess that ours have never been on quite this scale....

I gathered together a heap of items I thought might be useful in the stage-setting..... 

And without further ado, the story unfolds.  Step forward Sasha and Gregor, whose previous appearance on the blog was earlier this year.

"It's time to tackle the cookie house" said Sasha, shrugging on her smock to protect her pretty lace dress.
Gregor sighed.  "I suppose we have to let the babies watch," he said, heaving the beanbags into place and settling the babies down. 

"Of course," said Sasha.  "Now let's get on with it.  I have cut all the pieces out.   You know you can't cut straight."
 "Huh! You can talk - maybe we can actually get the thing together without you ending up with your hair full of icing sugar!"

"I wouldn't bet on it" said Sasha. "Now for the roof and then we can decorate it".

"I have the very things...." said Gregor producing a bowl full of luridly coloured sweets 
"No way are those horrid things going on our lovely house" said Sasha. "They are much too big anyway. This is how we will do it!"

And so - with Butterfly's help - they did......

The elegant gingerbread house then took pride of place on the Advent table, next to the wreath.   Once again, the babies were allowed to watch, though the coloured pencils were kept well out of their reach. They managed to jog the table, reaching for the cookies, repeatedly knocking one of the candles over! 

And now I am off to write my very own Christmas wish list and enjoy some cookies.   Watch out for the next post on the Second Sunday in Advent and have a lovely evening.   Happy Advent!


  1. Brilliant! But why oh why oh why could the babies not have coloured pencils?
    What a beautiful gingerbread house - perhaps I may have a little taste this weekend?
    Have you kept all of your Christmas lists?
    Andrea xx

  2. Because of the lace tablecloth?

    It's not very tasty....wonderful what can be done with corrugated cardboard. Well, if you are Butterfly anyway.

    We have kept many but sadly by no means all. I am not sure how that very first one managed to survive down the ages. It appears in the Fifty Years of Friendship album :-)

  3. Lovely photo story - it reminds me of The Lonely Doll... though definitely more cheerful. Very happy that the house is managing to do double duty!

  4. Great idea to decorate a wish list. It is perfect for Mom to keep each year and create a small book to treasure once the child is grown with kids of their own.

  5. How creative - how wonderful! I love Sasha putting on her smock - such wonderful pictures perfectly arranged. Alison you do good Honey with the gingerbread house. Perfect size! I don't think anything makes my heart smile more than miniatures.
    Merry Christmas Ya'll!
    Sandy Claus xx

  6. How lovely! I don't visit here often enough but looking forward to returning soon! Chrisx

  7. Popped over from Allison's blog, so glad I did, this is a lovely post.
    Avril x

  8. Popped over from Alison's blog too, what a lovely post and visit!!!
    Makes me dream and smile, thank you very much...
    I wish you a merry Christmas, with joy and happiness, and a good continuation in your amazing project!
    Corinne x