Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Friko's Advent Calendar

Advent Wreath

We are in the season of Advent and many children will be opening one window each day on their Advent Calendars; some will find chocolates behind the flap, some small toys, some an edifying picture.

Love it or hate it, there is no getting away from Christmas now; until the new year we will be bombarded with jingles, kitsch (OK, I admit that goes for my Advent header too) and, above all, pressure to shop, shop, shop. Everywhere I go people say "Are you all done for Christmas then? Got your presents ready? Shopping done?"

What I thought I'd do was to start an Advent Calendar of my own. A small oasis of sanity, for my own sake and maybe yours, if you'd like to pop in and open the day's offering.

Every day between the 1st December and the Big Day I shall publish a contribution to the season, a new window for the day shall be opened and a new little treasure unveiled. A story, out of literature or real life,  a picture, a photo, a poem or verse. Not all will be wholly pro-Christmas, some will be funny, some sad, some grouchy, some happy; much like life itself.

I hope you will find something to enjoy here once or twice in the coming days. And if you really can't stand the season: I'll see you when it's all over.

My wrist is getting better, I can use the fingers on the left hand again, although other movement is still
restricted.  Thank you, all you lovely people who have commiserated and sent good wishes.

We Bloggers are a special bunch!

Today is St. Andrew's Day, three weeks and three days before Christmas.
St. Andrew was the first-called of the Apostles, a Galilean fisherman and brother of St Peter.

In Scotland, the traditional dishes on this day are boiled or baked sheep's head, haggis and whisky.

In parts of Kent and Sussex, the right to hunt squirrels at St Andrewstide was claimed: "when the lower kind of people assembling together form a lawless rabble, and being accoutred with guns, poles, clubs and other such weapons, spend the greatest part of the day in parading through the woods  . . . . . .
and under pretence of demolishing the squirrels, they destroy numbers of hares, pheasants and partridges and, in short, whatever comes in their way.

Hasted History of Kent 1782

See you tomorrow?


  1. Your advent calendar oasis is a great idea, Friko.

    I'll pass on the haggis, but offer a hearty "hear, hear!" to bloggers being a special bunch.

  2. friko i am really grateful for this. i can learn, be astonished, and fill in my happily heathen children on the juicy details of the festive frolic!!! steven

  3. kinda glad i am not a squirrel today....yikes...

  4. Great idea for advent Friko - will look forward to it!

  5. Great idea, Friko. I will be visiting the Advent Calendar daily, though you can give my portion of the haggis and baked sheep's head to someone more deserving. Delighted to know that the wrist is on the mend.

  6. A very good idea. And I like this one. I wondered why, in Angela's Ashes, the family was eating a sheep's head. It never occurred to me that such an object could be food. That was Ireland, of course, not Scotland...

    I'm glad to know you're getting better, joint by joint!

  7. I love your idea! I am doing something similar for my grandkids. I'm sending a story, one page a day via email to their parents. See you tomorrow, Friko!

  8. I'm glad that your wrist is getting better. I'll pop in tomorrow to see your Advent offering.

  9. What a great idea for the holidays...a blog advent post! I have just barely started my shopping and will finish this week, because it is my least favorite part of the season.

  10. I like the thought of being a lawless rabble...!

  11. I'll be here every day to see what's on offer!
    I celebrated St Andrew's Day with my parents before leaving Ottawa - mashed turnip, potatoes, beef and kidney pie and (honestly) haggis.

  12. My childrens secondary school was called St. Andrews. Every year they had a sponsered walk on St. Andrews Day - through the surrounding woods, I'm thinking they would have enjoyed it so much more had they been permitted to take part in a sponsered culling of squirrels. it's snowing down here today - every St. Andrews day I can remember the weather has been vile, but only once was the actually walk cancelled!

  13. I'll pass on the haggis, too. I have tried, often, to like it, but I just can't, not even for the sake of three out of my four grandparents!
    I'll be looking forward to your Advent offerings, Friko. So glad you are using your left hand a little bit. I thought this post looked a little long for one-fingered typing!! Take care you don't re-injure it, though.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  14. Friko - lovely idea!Love your header too! So glad the wrist is on the mend.

  15. eine wundervolle Idee! Ausnahmsweise habe ich dann auch etwas von der Adventszeit...!
    Liebe Grüsse!

  16. What a terrific idea, Friko! I am more of a Solstice celebrator, myself, but I do appreciate anticipation in ALL things. What better way to savor the sweetness of life but with a daily meditations such as this. I will be enjoying the season with you through your advent calendar.

    [I notice that the squirrels around my home who are usually quite active are conspicuously absent today...hmmmm]

  17. I love Advent Calendars, so I suppose I love kitsch. Looking forward to your calandar, and happy to hear you are better.

  18. Well Im up for it if you are as long as you promsie not to force feed me poor quality chocoalte coins amongst your advent offerings!

  19. Advent has long been my favorite season on the church calendar. When my kids were young, the Advent calendar was always a favorite for them, as well. I miss having the little ones around. You'll be tickling some memories for me, thanks. :)

  20. I'll have the sheep's head. Followed by roast squirrel and bloodied pheasant, please, m'am! With some strong ale (not whisky) to wash it down (being a lower kind of person!)

    Merry Christmas! (Or is it bad luck to wish this two hours before December's begun?)

    (Kitsch is OK as long as cherries are steeped in it or chocolate wrapped around it. Or is that kirsch?)

  21. Where do we go to pick up the chocolates?

  22. And there I thought I was too old for an Advent Calendar - I will be sure to visit every day to see what the newly opened door will offer. So glad that your wrist is getting better. If you see any of those squirrel hunters would you please send them my way - those pesky little critters are really getting out of control.
    Aren't they supposed to hibernate in the winter?

  23. Splendid idea as we anticipate the countdown. Full of treats I'm sure.

  24. Well Friko, you know that I will be back here during Advent.

    And...I also have an Advent calendar in place tonight, looking forward to opening that first window tomorrow. There's a little neighborhood card shop that always has Advent calendars (from Germany) on sale in early November. It would be a big mistake to wait until late November to make your choice. Have to admit, looking at this year's choice, there is somethign just a bit familiar to my old memory about the street scene. Could I have bought this calendar before? Does it actually make any difference?


  25. Friko, that is a very clever idea! How delightful! I'll be opening the door every day! My idea was to show a metaphor with each candle in the Advent wreath (the first week represents hope, etc.). You'll have to visit my wreath with one lit candle to see!

  26. Fun idea. This will be my first (and probably only) advent calendar ever.

  27. ...beinahe "zu Hause" - danke.

    Einen guten neuen Monat dir.

  28. I'll skip the sheep's head and haggis and just have the whisky.
    The church we attend is called St. Andrew, but I don't think the menu would go over very well. ;)

    This is the first year we have failed to purchase the chocolate Advent calendars. So far, no one has noticed. (The youngest is 11 years old.)

  29. This season, I will admit, drives me a bit round the bend. That said, I like very much your approach to it and look forward to your posts. Most of all, I am so glad to read that your wrist is on the mend!

  30. I'll have their haggis! Only tasted it a few times but liked it.

    I have to admit, when I saw the title Friko's Advent Calendar, I immediately pictured tiny windows swinging open and a Punch or Judy popping out to whack someone over the head. (What's wrong with me, anyway?)

    So glad the hand's improving!

  31. I am pleased that your hand is healing. I have to be frank though Friko – I have never seen an English Advent calendar or heard of one, even when I went to school in England. Is it a religious British (Christian) calendar for the month of December until Christmas? that is what is sounds like. Once in a large book store I saw a calendar with little windows for the month of December – I bet it was your Advent Calendar. I wondered at the time if they would tell some adventure each day, but I was afraid to ask. I thought it was to amuse kids – I did not know if was religious. It is nice that you can do something that has meaning to you.

  32. What a tasty idea for the Advent season!
    Looking forward to what yo will show us next, Friko!

    Glad you are on the mend.

    "Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral



  33. Me, I love the Haggis, looking forward to a feed in Ontario when I get back.
    As to Advent, I am so tired of all the jingles and shopping mania going on around me, it drives me indoors.
    We celebrate Solstice with a simple home made gift. Bailed out years ago from hyperland.
    I'm so glad you're wrist is mending.
    And yes Blogland is a wonderful place.

  34. loved this - linked it on my FB page. love your blog!

  35. Way back when the children were young I used to make sheep's head soup. and very good it was too. Today, I can't think of it without a grimace. Love your Advent idea.

  36. Fantastic idea, Friko - love your calendar.
    On St Andrews day I had both haggis and whiskey (in the gravy .... mmmm) but missed out on the sheep's head, I'm afraid.

  37. A few days into, but I have just discovered your Advent Calendar, can't wait to explore beyond the window panes each day. Looks exciting and insightful.

  38. LOVE this idea. Love the advent image at the top as well. Now I'll have to play catch up!


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