December 2nd  

Advent to me is a special time.  Two things spring to mind when I think of Advent; family & togetherness and light.  What do I mean by light?  These darker days and nights need cheering up and what better than lighting the Advent star and Advent candelabra.  In Norway and Scandinavia this has long been a tradition.  I now know that here in the UK also four advent candles are lit for each of the Sundays leading up to Christmas but I think the Scandinavians have it down to a fine art, the art of bringing light to the dark.  Every room in our home over the advent period is decorated with extra lighting, it's warming, makes you feel happier and seems to spread a little joy.  I think it's not a bad tradition to have to bring out extra lights for this time of year.  Do you bring in extra light at this time of year?

I am beginning to have quite an eclectic group of advent stars and love them all

Of course this time of year many have a countdown to the big day with advent calendars.  Such a huge variety to be found, from ones with religious pictures to the other extreme with some just for Lego and makeup!  Appealing to my sense of the love of yarn there are several on line advent calendars the best for me being by the Norwegian company Drops design.  Being a naughty 'child' I tried to have an early peek behind door 3 this morning and was greeted by this...

Day 3 of the Drops design advent calendar, I tried to open it on December 1st!

Here is a snap shot of the doors to the advent calendar, all red and crocheted and ready to be opened...

The crocheted doors of the Drops design
advent calendar

And look what a gem of a pattern was to be found behind the door of December 1st.  There is no time for me to make it this year, but maybe, just maybe, I will make it early next year in anticipation of next Christmas...  I am already addicted and cannot wait to open them up each day.
Behind door one on December 1st

In case you want to follow each day too, here is the link:  Drops Design Advent Calendar 

On the brilliant Norwegian blog called Hverdagsmagi.   There is another advent calendar to make a crochet snowflake a day. Go have a look.

And I need to mention Sandra at Cherry Heart who began a sock CAL yesterday with the idea of knitting a bit each day aiming to wear a new pair of socks on Christmas Day. What a lovely idea that is. 

My children laugh at my love for Christmas, I am assuming they are laughing with me!?!?!  On returning home from work last week my husband peeked into the spare room and saw all our Christmas 'tat' ready to be displayed around the house and all I could hear him mutter was something along the lines of 'guilty pleasure'.  He does put up very well with my enthusiasm for this time of year.  I think it's seeping wonderfully well into the children too...

So yes, we have a variety of advent calendars in our home too.  Now put away for another generation the advent books for little ones, written in Norwegian, they were a joy to read each night before bed, but alas the teenagers have outgrown them.
The below advent calendar I made when I was 16, a little rough around the edges, we wouldn't be without it.  I find gifts throughout the year to add to it so the cost is spread out.  The little bags are traditionally Scandinavian and are readily available in all the shops there.  I note this year that in the UK both Claus Ohlson and Ikea sell them too, but they would be easy to make or buy plain party bags to the same effect.  My children love this calendar and they take it in turns each day to be allowed to open a bag.
A very indulgent advent calendar that the children and I just love

This smaller embroidered calendar was made for my husband when we were newly married.  Again this year I left it too late to wash and iron it to show it at its best, but life's too short right?  He does love his daily small fix of chocolate at this time of year.

I made this as a newly wed for my husband, oh so many moons ago

I still love this embroidered tree
This year we are beginning a new advent calendar and I hope this one will soon become a family tradition.  I have sewn lots of little stockings and inside each one is a hand written joke, or fun forfeit or challenge for the day.  The idea being that we all partake in it.  A simple thing to do together in this busy world we all live in. The ones that take longer to complete I have engineered to be put into the stockings that fall at the weekend.  I am excited about this calendar countdown as it involves us all in doing something together.  Fingers crossed it works out well and becomes a new family tradition.  I love evolving traditions, don't you?  What's your favourite family tradition at this time of year?
In no particular order  here are the 'forfeit' slips inside our advent stockings:

Sing we wish you a Merry Christmas in the style of an alley cat

Say the alphabet backwards 
Juggle 3 clementines 

List all the Christmas reindeers
Work out your elf name. First name = a cookie starting with your initial Second name = Elf as the first syllable followed by the second half of your surname 
Name five different names for Father Christmas 
Play a round of charades
Play a Christmas related game of I Spy
Hop on one leg for a minute patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time 
Play rock, scissors, paper, stone for who had to wash up
In the next 24 hours say something g lovely and meaningful to everyone in the family 
Tell something about yourself that we don't know
Where will you be at Christmas in 5 years time 
Watch a Christmas film
Go on a Christmas light walk
How many 3 letter plus words can you make from Merry Christmas 
Recite/sing the 12 days of Christmas 
In the next 24 hours do an act of random kindness
Spell jingle bells backwards
Talk about Christmas trees for 45 seconds with no urms or errs 
Pick a partner. One is A one is B. A needs to wrap up B as a Christmas present   Remember to unwrap them too! 
Hum a Christmas carol and everyone has to guess it
All ready for the family to have some fun with forfeits and activities

Very simple to make, an old piece of wood with glued on clothes pegs

I think it looks quite striking, what do you think?

In school today a class that I worked with were making the finishing touches to their advent calendar. Using exact measuring they each had to make a house ready to encompass a little chocolate treat. All the houses came together to create the class village. How lovely is that? 

And every evening leading up to the 24th December 'Julaften' in Norway the children and I will sit down for 15 minutes and watch a TV advent calendar series that we watch every year, all about the Blue mountain in Norway and the people who live in it and by it.  Ahh, traditions, I love them.


And lastly some of our extra lighting in our home at this time of year...

  Wishing you a very happy advent  full of warmth and light 


  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Selma. Your house must be like magical place. What time, effort and love that must have gone in to your creations. Your passion and enthusiasm for (the true meaning of) Christmas is infectious. I am now looking forward to creating some traditions for Bear to enjoy as she grows older. X

    1. Thank you Jules. Glad my infection is spreading! Hoping you and Bear begin making your own lovely traditions. My daughter seems to be very keen on them and it fills my heart. X

  2. How exciting! I love all your traditions, long may they last. x

    1. Long may they last indeed. But how wonderful that your husband made you an advent calendar. That I find exciting

  3. You really do have the best advent and Christmas traditions! Enjoy your calendars! xx

    1. Thanks Amy. I think the new calendar is going to be a slow burn love. The first night they groaned but did it with me with rolled eyes and last night they laughed at/with me?!?!? Hehehe

  4. What a wonderful tradition and so many lovely Advent calendars you have! I like the idea of the stockings with the fun notes inside. Now that the family is all grown, the Mr. and I still like to take our annual drive to see all the holiday lights. We pack a thermos of hot chocolate and bring along home baked cookies. I love those drives - we act like kids again. Wishing you a lovely and peaceful Advent. x Karen

  5. Karen, I love that the two of you drive out with cookies and hot chocolate. *makes mental note to do the same when the children leave home. Thank you for sharing


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