“Bah,” said Scrooge, “Humbug.”
… some time later…
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
If you have read even a handful of my blog entries, you will know that one of my favourite writers is Charles Dickens. It was extremely difficult for me to select just 2 quotes for this 1st of December blog. Almost every line is quotable and re-readable.
Did you know that all over the world theatres, book shops and book groups do live annual readings of A Christmas Carol? If you google this, you’ll find entry after entry stating the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th or 17th (in the nude, I kid you not!) annual live readings of A Christmas Carol.
What is it about this tale of ghostly visits that captures our imagination so vividly?
I think it’s because we all recognise the Scrooge in ourselves. We all hope for the possibility of transformation and redemption, to be made new again, to exorcise all those hateful, nasty tendencies in our own hearts that well up periodically, selfishly, just when we have begun to think we are very near perfect – the allegory of A Christmas Carol is profoundly universal.
So! It is the 1st of December. The beginning of a new month. A fresh start. I am getting Christmassy! On Sunday we got the tree and the mistletoe (never done this one before, but thought it would be fun). I dusted off the Christmas decorations and put new batteries in the sparkly fireplace lights. We decorated the tree with our flatmates – et voila!
Et la pièce de résistance… about a month ago, Hubby asked me if we could have an Advent Calendar. I decided to make one instead of buying. It’s been really fun. There’s still time today for you to gather the ‘ingredients’ together and summon your household to help you.
Here’s my ‘RECIPE‘:
24 little brown bags.
24 small Christmassy cards – to stick verses/quotes on the back of.
Some green, red and cream (or gold) coloured twine/ribbon.
24 baubles for inside + maybe a few extra tree decorations as well.
24 Bible verses (or quotes you like… whatever floats your boat).
24 chockies (I chose assorted Lindt) for inside the bags.
24 mint humbugs (in honour of the old Scrooge).
24 small wooden pegs with numbers 1-24 (pre-bought at Tiger, but I’m sure you’ll find them anywhere arty or gimmicky)
Print, cut out and stick each Bible verse on the back of a small colourful Christmas card. Place one chockie, 1 humbug and one bauble into each small brown bag. You may want to pop another, more elaborate decoration into intermittent bags (I did). In order of 1st-24th December, peg the Bible verse cards (verse-down) onto each bag. Hang bags anywhere you like using the colourful twine/ribbon (mine are on the wooden bannister going upstairs to our kitchen). Each day one member of the family can open a peg and take out the goodies – sweeties to de eaten, decorations to be hung on the tree.
(I am compelled, for, “‘Elf and safety reasons” – Cockney accent – to stress that some of the contents are edible, but the decorations are NOT TO BE EATEN. Also, this Advent Calendar may have been prepared near a kitchen that contains nuts.)
P.s. For those of you with small children, you can choose to exchange the small brown bags for baby socks.