women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Anticipation


!!STASH SALE TOMORROW!!

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasin' after some finer day

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin' me late
Is keepin' me waitin'

And tomorrow we might not be together
I'm no prophet and I don't know nature's ways
So I'll try and see into your eyes right now
And stay right here 'cause these are the good old days

- Carly Simon

Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi. The Eastern churches' equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast, but it differs both in length and observances and does not begin the church year, which starts instead on 1 September [1].

The progression of the season may be marked with an Advent calendar, a practice introduced by German Lutherans. At least in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, the Sunday between November 27 and December 3 inclusive.

Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for the second coming of Christ.

-courtesy of Wikipedia


No new knitting pics to show today. Spent yesterday working on something for submission to Knitty - first time for everything!

So hush, hush and strictly on the QT...

Will try to fit in some Bruce the Spruce time this weekend, around the stash sale.

I did however run into the neatest story on Ravelry. Someone shared her reminisces of her kid's advent calendar traditions. Neat story- on the Lace Knitters thread about the contest - I think...

Added later:
here is the story, courtesy of Dee2:

Our children’s teachers must have had similar training because we did the paper garland one once. When my daughter was 7 and my son 5, my husband and I got the idea for our favorite recurring one. This involved a wooden oddments box that I had found somewhere that was like an old typesetters box. More descriptively, it was a shallow wooden tray that had lots of dividers – although the resulting cubbies were not all of the same size. We would fill the cubbies and cover over the front of the tray with construction paper that the kids had previously decorated and numbered in the right places –with much help from Dad as he was the keeper of the key to the location of the cubbies. And Voila, we would have the kind of advent calendar that is familiar, only better because it was home-made. Anyway, the fun really came in finding things that could be used to fill in the cubbies – one for each day. Since I only have two children and they both like surprises (well, one more so than the other), we would first determine who would open the odd days and who would open the even. That way we knew each child would help me prepare the goodies for the other’s days. Simple things. One year we folded origami critters, one year we wrote little notes (I loved that one – alas, it was not as big a hit for the kids.) One year we got lazy and tried little candies, but that turned out not to be anyone’s favorites. As they got older, my kids would spy little things throughout the year that they gave to me for safekeeping and use in the calendar.

Wow – Great memories. My kids (now ages 23 and 20, and not living at home most of the time) still talk about it. And I think they miss it, but will renew the tradition each in their own way. In fact, they already have done so. They both went to the same out-of-state boarding school for high school – the first year they were both there, I found out that they had their own mini-advent exchanges sans the box – usually when they would meet for lunch or dinner at the dining hall.

What can a mother say… As I have gotten older, I have come to believe that one of the important roles of parenting is to guide our children to be good siblings and to have a relationship with their siblings that is as independent of their relationships with the parents as possible. I think the good family traditions can foster those sibling ties.



Anyway - it got me to thinking about the years when my kids were small and what we did to count down the days.

My childhood featured the old stand by cardboard advent calendars with the pretty pictures on them and the surprise pic behind the little doors.

By the time my kids came around, we had a felt banner with little pockets on it, that held felt ornaments to hang on the tree appliques to the top. I think my Mom gave it to the boys early on in their formative years.

This year I am passing it down to Baby Boy/Family Man for him and Conner to enjoy.

Had dinner with the little charmer last night (Conner, not his daddy although he is quite the charmer in his own right!) We went to the pub where Mom works and caught up on some face time.

Conner was absolutely enthralled with the Xmas tree in the corner, especially the lights ( which were: red & green & yellow & purple & green again & yellow again & red again & yellow a third time & blue again & you get the picture...)

Good thing Grandmas have endless patience.

So, what was your favorite advent calendar? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it...

Just to spread the joy around, I will be giving away a free pattern (of your choice - Spruce excluded) to one commenter a day through Christmas, randomly chosen by Mrs. Claus (just me - don't get too excited).

I'll announce the previous day's winner in each post this month, If you are the winner, email me your preference at susanpandorf@comcast.net and I'll email your pattern right out to you.

Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?

Yesterday's winner is: Kat. Email me, girl...

Now aren't you glad you left a comment?

49 comments:

Renee said...

I really look forward to your posts, not just because of new announcements or patterns, (though those are definite incentives) but you really have a talent for writing. Thanks for all your efforts.
Renee

andrea said...

"Anticipation/ Carley, Christmas, Advent Calendars, & knitting creates the perfect warm fuzzy feeling! Love your blog!
Andrea

carrollb said...

It's actually SNOWING in HOUSTON! That's as Advent calendar-esque it can get here. :-)

Suz B said...

Glad you have renamed the pattern Bruce the Spruce. Look forward to receving mine and absolutely love the star beads.

Suz

Sally said...

The advent calendars we had growing up were paper ones we made in Pre-School class. It was just a calendar grid on the paper with the dates written in for the month, and I think a little tree that we taped on and then moved each day. So not a traditional one by any means!

Between my two sisters and I making a new one in preschool each year - by the time we were all through, my mom has one that works no matter what day of the week Dec 1st is :) And even though we're all in our 30s now, there is still one on my mom's Fridge each year!

- Sally

PenCraft said...

By golly I'm not going to miss a day. Keep the great posts coming!

Kristen said...

oh noo! I'm going to miss the stash sale! I'm volunteering all day tomorrow. Bummer. Hopefully I'll be online for the next one.

meezermeowmy said...

We keep Advent, so there are no Christmas decorations to be seen in our home. The church will hang just the seasonal greens this week, the second Sunday of Advent.

The manger scene has only sheep and one cow. DH and I helped set it up, and discovered said cow had one ear broken off. He borrowed a brown crayon from one of the usher's baggies of crayons for children and colored in the stark white bit where the ear broke off. Now the cow looks better from the distance of the congregation.

Vicki Suan said...

Growing up in the Philippines, we started preparations in September (when the months end in -ber). Being a primarily Catholic country, Christmas in the islands is a very important holiday. We never did have Advent calendars though. But it was like celebrating Christmas for 4 months--lol!

Anonymous said...

Growing up, we didn't have advent calendars, or stockings for that matter. I don't feel deprived. We had a nice tree, and lots of warm, family memories.

TDC

PNWBookGirl said...

I don't remember any other kind of Advent calender than the paper kind as a child. Then my stepmother started sending them to my son every year. It's not Christmas unless you have one of the little doors to open each day on them.

theshortredhead said...

I had the same sort of felt Advent calendar you did, made at a church Advent workshop when I was probably 10 or 11. Ours had felt ornaments, with little velcro bits on the back to attach them to the tree. My sister and I would take turns, often grudgingly, getting to put the ornaments on.

We also each had a personal advent calendar that had 25 peppermint candies tied on, so we got to have a special treat each day.

Ash said...

My favorites were the paper chains I made myself. One year I glued a peppermint on each chain.

I love the idea of the felt pocket calendar. Maybe I'll start some yarn ornaments for one next year!

shortoldlady said...

I've gotten jaded over the years - Christmas no longer holds anything special. And that's my loss.

cayli said...

I had Advent calendars when I was young and I countinue the tradition with my son today. He loves it!

issy said...

I always had advent calendars , growing up. So I made sure my kids did to. Their favorite was a very small tree on the dining table and each day they got to put a tiny glass bell on it's branches. There were red, green, blue and clear bells on gold thread. It was alot of fun.

Lydia said...

Your designs are so beautiful! Your blog is so inspiring. Although, now you've got me missing those advent calendars with the chocolates in them!

Eunice said...

The advent calendar I had fun with was the time when my daughter was away at college. I bought stockings for her and her room mate and filled them with little presents numbered from Dec 1 until they had Christmas vacation. Now my daughter did the same thing for her daughter.

baby face said...

I love your blog and your patterns. You always have something interesting and informing to say. I'm not a Christian, but I must have been a
Christian in my last life, because
I love Christmas. It's funny that
you brought up children and Christmas because my Christmas card this year is a story that I wrote about
Christmas in our house when our
children were little.

Kaz said...

this is so much fun , and gets me looking at your patterns every day

Megan said...

My grandma used to buy me advent calendars every year. I remember one year I had one that looked like a giant stained glass cathedral window, the colors were amazing!!! Its funny how I haven't thought about those calendars in years until I read your blog today, it sure brought back some good memories =)

Monika said...

I too started with the card board advent calendar, but with chocolate behind each door. We had the felted variety as well, when our kids where little. The neatest idea however is the Advent calender tea box I've got from my sister this year. Each day a different tea bag for 24 days. So neat and delicious.

Debbie W said...

My sister and I always had the paper Advent calendars and we loved them! One year I gave my daughter one that had a chocolate behind each door . I think the whole thing was opened in a week! Love your blog- I've got everybody in the knitting store where I work looking at it too!Your patterns are so lovely!

Sharon said...

The Advent Calendar that I gave my girls actually became a Nativity set, each day a new part of the stable would be punched out and placed near the manager. By the end we put in baby Jesus and had a nice Nativity set for them.

thanks....

Susan Pandorf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
arly said...

December is my favorite month. It's a whole month of good will,giving,.excitement, anticipation, joy and a lots more.I hope everyone's December is memorable and extra special.

Annie said...

Favorite Advent clendar was the one year we had one with chocolates. Normally, we didn't have a calendar, but an Advent bowl. In it were slips of paper and we had to pick one each day (5kids in my fam so the fight over who got the chocolate wasn't worth it to my mom). Each slip had something different on it, a chore or something you had to do nice for someone else in the family. In retrospect it was a really good thing, but at the time, I wanted the chocolate one.

Suzanne said...

I don't remember having any advent calenders but my mother used to buy my cousins in VT one every year. They are now in college and high school and she has stopped the tradition.

Heidi U said...

We didn't have an advent calendar but, being catholic, we had the advent wreath. It has four candles one for each week before Christmas. Every night, after dinner, we would light the candle(s) for the week (1,2,3 or 4) and then we would read something from the prayer book. I'm not very religious but somehow that gets you in the mood for the season. We still do it today.

Nancy said...

growing up we also had a felt advent calendar that had slots for candy canes at the bottom. It was one of the first things that got hung up every year! it's a lot beat up now, but still is one of the things that reminds me of Christmas, along with arguing with dad over the fake tree or a real one each year!

Rabbitknitz said...

My family didn't do an advent calendar during the Christmas holidays, but we did have our pre Christmas rituals for getting and trimming the tree and all the various build-up parties and card sending and such. It is a time of feel-good and family, for sure!

Nebraska Knitter said...

I made my children a fabric advent calendar. The focal point was an appliqued tree pieced from triangles and tied with 1/8 inch ribbon. The wall hanging had twenty four pockets across the bottom. I embroidered numbers 1 - 24 on the pockets and put two small candy canes in each pocket - one for each child. When my daughter got married, I gave it to her.

Nebraska Knitter

Robin said...

love the blog- found you from A Tangled Tale, my LYS in OH.

Brenda said...

I love your idea for a contest!
Hope I win :-)

Happy holidays!

TeresaM said...

My grandmother was a preschool teacher, and she had made a giant wall hanging advent out of felt (the fake plasticy stuff) with pockets and one GIANT felt tree. In each pocket, there was one little nicknack with a safety pin attatched. Each day, we would take the doodad out of the pocket, and safety pin it onto the tree as an ornament. on the 25th, there was a giant, weird looking baby that she had improvised some swadling for it to wear, that we would put in a pocket that was a manger. up untill about the time i was 10 I thought that being givin the honor of doing the pinning was the greated thing ever.

Andrea said...

just posting.

CraftyCarole said...

just found your blog through knitting pattern central... love your designs.. keep up the great work!

Mimi said...

Being Eastern Orthodox, my Christmas isn't until January 7 and the weeks leading up to it are fast days with one break for the children on St. Nicholas Day, December 19,(a modern custom, kind of like celebrating Hanukah with gifts for the children). Many children received gifts on St. Nicholas' Day, but we got oranges and something for school, like a pencil, and one sweet thing. Never chocolate. So the advent calendar was always paper and my mother brought it out sometime around St. Nicholas' Day. She would buy it at a German import store, so it had angels and glitter and pretty pictures behind the doors. I've bought advent calendars as an adult whenever I found something unusual. The best one is a "Christmas Around the World Advent Calendar." Each door opens on a drawing of children in ethnic costume. On the back is description of the associated country's holiday customs. The reason I liked it so much is that behind door 7 are a Ukrainian boy and girl in costume. Unfortunately, the country is identified as Russian and the gift giving customs are not different from Ukrainian. Ah, well, they sort of tried. This was in the days before Google and Wikipedia, and the Soviet Union hadn't broken up yet, so mixing up Russia and Ukraine was common. Wishing you all a joyful and peaceful holiday season.

Mimi said...

In the previous post I meant to say that the Ukrainian and Russian gift giving customs, as described in the calendar, *are* different from the Ukrainian customs.

migdalit said...

I think my favourite advent calender was the one my dad sent to me by mail when I was away from home for college for the first year ... what a suprise that was! And what a great feeling of not being forgotten back home ...

Finnknitter said...

I too have fond memories of Advent growing up in Finland. The season was kicked off with Pikku Joulu or Little Christmas. Small gifts or cards were exchanged on this day. I also do not recall the culmination on Christmas Day being as big as it is here in the US. I wish that I had continued the tradition with my children, but my American husband just did not get it and I did not insist. Sigh!!

Deborah said...

I grew up Catholic and we used advent candles with a wreath. I love hearing how other families celebrated their holidays, so many interesting ways.

Creativehands said...

Wonderful posts Susan; look forward to seeing all of your creations!

Alison said...

I love this thread and it really got me thinking. When our daughter was very small we always put up our Christmas tree on 3rd December (my god-daughter's birthday). Then every night the fairy at the top of the tree magic'd a present for someone in the house. The fairy's name was Fairy Nuff (fair enough!). The presents were little things we collected during the year - usually something we could enjoy as a family and that would keep my daughter occupied when I was at my busiest. She is now 25 and still insists on the fairy doing her stuff! Needless to say the tree goes up a lot later these days.

Currently finishing your lovely snowdrift shawl - I don't think that is a Fairy Nuff present though! Can't wait for the next instalment of cowls - they could definitely fit the bill. Thank you for your wonderful inspiration.

Mariel said...

I love the ideas in these posts--especially the tea calendar. I remember having an advent calendar as a child and bought a paper one for my children once. Later made a fabric one with little goodies in it. The tradition my kids still talk about was my hiding their stockings and sending them all over the house with cryptic clues until they found them.

Karen said...

I love your Christmas stories. Brings back wonderful memories of my own past Christmases. Thank you!

RachelAnderson on ravelry said...

Wonderful posts, wonderful patterns. You are truly captuing the spirit of the season.

beadntat said...

I am of Dutch and German Heritage so naturally advent calenders were a part of my growing up. They ranked right up there with stollen, speculas (a molded spice cookie), pfferneuse (pepper nut cookie), and Jan Hagels (a Dutch almond/cinnamon sugar cookie). When my siblings and I were in middle school an authentic German Christmas shop opened in the resort town of Gatlinburg, TN. It became a family tradition each fall to go to the Christmas shop and select our Advent calender for that year---a "real" one, made in Germany featuring lots of tiny windows and delicate glitter (no crummy chocolate). We had a rotation for who got to keep the calender after the holidays were over. I still have one of mine and continue to use it along with the many others I have accumulated over the years. Advent calendars are a heartwarming tradition that my extended family continues to this day. Now that chocolate is involved, each grandchild/niece/nephew gets their own calendar to help them count down to Christmas.

Thanks for enabling my walk down memory lane :-)
Merry Christmas!!!

Beverly said...

Just found your stash sale and giveaway ... enter me in the giveaway please.

Have a wonderful holiday season!