Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Corner View {Tradition}

Advent Calendars ... A tradition in many families now ... but in ours it goes back three generations ... and has a story ! Let me share with you an email letter my Mom sent to my children a few years back ...

It says ...

" A little story for my Grandchildren ...

Once upon a time there were three little girls who lived in a nice warm house on a nice cozy street. They loved holidays but they loved Christmas best. Christmas is clear at the end of December and it would have been very hard for them to wait, except for a special present that they got at the beginning of December every year. An envelope would come from a far away place called Germany, and inside it would be a special calendar that had doors to be opened every day. The picture on it was different every year, but there were always doors, with little numbers on them. A funny thing about this calendar was that it didn't have a door for every day of the month, it stopped, of all times, on Christmas Eve !

Every year when the calendar came, the girls' mother would hang it in the living room window, just at the bottom of the stairs. Then .... every morning, just after breakfast the girls would gather with their mother and, each in her turn, one would hunt for the little number of the day it was and, with excitement, ... open the door to see the picture inside. They would ooh and aah about the clever thing the door had revealed and would know that Christmas was one day closer. The best day of all was Christmas Eve, when there would be an extra special big door and inside they would find a picture of the baby Jesus, and would know that the next morning would be Christmas !

Well, the oldest of those little girls was your Nanny. The envelope was sent to us by Aunt Hester, my Grandmother's sister, who was a school teacher on an Army base in Germany. It was a custom that was part of the German Christmas tradition. I never knew another family who had such a special calendar in their house, it was something only our family had. Since it was so special, your Sabba and I always tried to find such a calendar, called an advent calendar, for our children to greet Christmas with, and that is why I have sent them to you, as well. Have fun waiting for Christmas, and know that you are the third generation of our family to have such a special treat. I love you very much, Nanny "

Every year, when my children receive their envelopes from Nanny and Sabba, I get out this letter and we read it ... and then I hang it with the calendars. Why ? Because, to me, the important part of tradition is the story behind it, the passing down of special things from one generation to the next ...

Looking forward to seeing traditions in more Corners ...


Mari December 15, 2010 at 12:19 AM  

What a special tradition!

;) December 15, 2010 at 12:44 AM  

It's a tale and magic scenes for me. I think you'll undestand why tomorrow ;)


Mrs. Wallace December 15, 2010 at 4:08 AM  

Thanks for sharing Nanny's letter - I never knew this story or the tradition.

nadine paduart December 15, 2010 at 8:18 PM  

beautiful magic indeed.

Kasia December 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

Beautiful story and great photos!

likeschocolate December 16, 2010 at 1:11 AM  

Merry Christmas! Hope your holiday if filled with much love. Like your bucket list too!

Annabel December 16, 2010 at 4:37 AM  

Nice story!

flowtops December 16, 2010 at 6:43 AM  

Yes, advent calendars, we have them in the Netherlands as well. I don't use them anymore, partly because they are connected to religion and we refrain from all religious believes in our household, and partly because the advent calendars I've seen about contain chocolates and are by no means as pretty as the ones in your photographs!

Theresa December 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM  

Very sweet

Dorte December 16, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

As a child I had a least one calender like on your photos with 24 windows. It was printed by the Danish television and every evening from 1-24 Dec. you could watch an episode of that year's christmas story ... most often about yule nisser :)

Victoria | Hibiscus Bloem December 16, 2010 at 10:09 PM  

A joyous and lovely family tradition, made more special with the lovely letter.

Juana December 17, 2010 at 6:27 AM  

Beautiful story!

Joyce December 17, 2010 at 4:47 PM  

A long history of this tradition.

I give out the advent calendar to everyone of my nieces and nephews. When the oldest one was 12 yrs old I didn't think he would want it any longer so I didn't buy him one. He was sad he didn't get one that year. I apologized and said OK from now on, as long as I am here and you probably will have your own children, I will send you an advent calendar every year. They all are grown and still love them. xo

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