I was mildly appalled to read that over a third of parents still buy their Thirty-Something off-spring an Advent Calendar every year. I mean, when will these Old Kids ever grow up?
Then I started to feel a bit worried on account of the fact that it is perfectly possible my own Foursome feel (i) aggrieved or (ii) unloved or (iii) deprived on account of the fact that I haven’t
bought any of them an Advent Calendar for going on 25 years. Does this make me a Bad Mother?
Even when I was buying Advent Calendars, back in the days when
they were young, we only ever had one between the four of them. Simple arithmetic will tell you that this meant each child only ever opened six windows. Nowadays it seems to be the done thing for each child in a family to have his or her own calendar,
complete with chocolate sweets hidden behind each window. The calendars of my off-spring’s childhood didn’t dispense chocolates, as far as I remember. My poor infants had to be satisfied with the excitement of prising open the cardboard shutters
to discover a picture of a camel, or a donkey or a Christmas cracker inside. The Darling Daughters also never quite forgave me for the fact that their brother, being fourth in line, always managed to open the last window, on 24 December, thus having
the undoubted privilege of disclosing the baby Jesus in the manger. Each year I thought I should perhaps ring the changes so that one of the girls had the pleasure, only to forget all about it by the time the next First of December rolled round.
My really rather wonderful god-daughter, Pip, and her sister always had an Advent calendar each every year. What’s more, they kept them so that, as each Christmas came round, they would put on display every
single calendar they had received over the years. There were always so many Advent calendars decorating their house that they quite put WH Smith to shame. These days their lovely Mum still selects a sample few calendars to mark the month – a sweet
remembrance of Christmases past. It makes me wish I’d kept our calendars – but I think, by the time we reached Christmas each year, they were in no fit state for anything but the bin.
You may have noticed that there is an Advent Candle on the website. I hope you like it. You can watch it slowly burning down when you visit the Daily Blog each day. I did also have snow flakes floating across
the page but then I remembered that the Eldest of the Darling Daughters objected to these last year on the grounds that they made the blog hard to read. Well, I can’t have that, can I? And if the weather forecast is to be believed, there are enough snow
flakes heading our way without me adding to the total, even virtually.
These days Mr B and I also opt for an Advent Candle, rather than a calendar. There is a
rather splendid one, with the numbers 1 – 25 printed along its entire length, sitting on my granite hearth at the moment, burning away with fiery determination. It is 3 December today and it still hasn’t burnt down as far as the number 1,
despite the fact that I have lit it each day at about 6 p.m. and left it burning till we have headed up to bed. It is, as you have probably guessed, an extremely thick candle.
What is worrying me is if, by 25th December, we have only managed to burn the candle down to, say, the 12th of the month.
Will we still be entitled to celebrate Christmas?