It's not that I don't understand and sympathise with all the hard-pressed mums bewailing the inexorable approach of the Christmas season. But, you know, in twenty years time, they'll be wishing
there were a few littl'uns about the house to spread the Christmas spirit. I know I am.
I do have Mr B, of course, but he has a somewhat minimalist approach to All Things Christmas.
With December 1st just three days away, I have very little time left to persuade him that we badly need an advent calendar so that we can start getting in a Christmassy mood. I don't think we need one which provides chocolate. We would
only argue about whose turn it was to open the door and scoff the choc. But I do need to start counting down the days and for this purpose there are few things better than an advent calendar.
When our Fab Foursome were small, Blue Peter could always be relied upon to advise on a Do-It-Yourself advent calendar. This usually involved coat hangers. Or was that an Advent Ring? Yes, I think I've mis-remembered again. But I'm sure they made advent
calendars, too - let's face it there was nothing the Blue Peter presenters didn't / couldn't make. I suppose I could pretend I'm Valerie Singleton and improvise /make one of my own devising - I have bags full of Christmas cards from years past which I
could put to good use. However I'm not sure Mr B would allow any art work of mine to be put on display anywhere in the house. And you can't have an advent calendar stuck in a drawer, it defeats the whole object of the exercise.
I think we were quite mean parents. We only ever had one advent calendar between the four of them. That means each one of the poor, deprived children only ever got to open six windows. Now I come to think of it, that was really,
really stingy. Though I imagine the anticipation must have been heightened because you had to wait the best part of a week before it was your turn to uncover a robin, or a teddy bear, or a Christmas tree bauble. And, no, we didn't do chocolate-filled
advent calendars, either. The thrill of opening a window was considered quite enough excitement, thank you very much. It's quite amazing that my children have grown up into such generous, well-rounded people, unscarred by the deficiencies of their childhood.
The advent calendar pictured here was home-made (though not, I hasten to add, by me.) It's called a "craft stick calendar with origami boxes." I read the instructions but reluctantly decided against attempting
it on the basis that even the designer freely admits that (i) it is very time-consuming and (ii) it is very fiddly. I'm not sure I can cope with fiddly. And I don't have much time, consumable or otherwise, either. Sadly I think the home-made option
may be out, at least for this year. Next year I shall make a start in September which will give me a good chance of having time to magic something up. Whether it will involve craft sticks and origami, I can't promise.
But, hey, I've found another idea on yet another "crafty" website. This one involves finding a large, clear, cookie jar in which you place 24 matchboxes, all covered in different coloured paper and labelled 1 - 24. Into each matchbox, you insert
a Christmas task that needs to be done that day. There's even a helpful list of possible tasks like "write Christmas cards", "buy Christmas tree", "make sausage rolls". I particularly liked the more interesting tasks such as "go star gazing", "dance and sing
to Christmas music" and "use puppets to tell a bedtime story." But there you are. You need a littl'un around for puppet shows and bedtime stories and all my littl'uns are either grown up or too far away...
Perhaps, after all, an Advent Candle would be a lot less trouble?