Its the start of the festive season, the offspring have cracked open the first door on their Advent calendars, so that’s it, the countdown to Christmas begins. My offspring might be teenagers, but apparently it isn’t quite Christmas without a slim, cardboard box, containing minuscule pieces of chocolate, behind hard to open perforated flaps, that has to be wrestled with each day of December before Christmas Day.
They have had many different types of advent calendars over the years. We started with the ones that reveal a picture, pockets with a treat in, little mini stockings, ones connected with toys, so you build a festive scene or collect a set over the time frame. We used to do whole family, including Grandma, stockings, 24 little gifts in each. A bad case of the ‘Baa Humbugs’ attacked me after a few years, as I was having to get 120 little thoughtful gifts, while my Mum was getting 24 for mine and it was her idea to do it. Now it’s just the chocolate advent calendars.
In previous years, the offspring would have had a variety of advent calendars on the go at the same time. This could cause confusion, leading to squabbles and accusations of calendar tampering. I would buy them something, so would my Mum and so would my Mum’s friend. Jean only ever saw them about twice a year, as she lived far away. But from the arrival of my first offspring, through the post popped a chocolate advent calendar. Her first advent calendar, and her first introduction to the decadent lifestyle, of having chocolate each day. Over the years the offspring looked forward to the advent parcel from Jean, sometimes it arrived before December, sometimes a few days in. Then they would be forced to eat several days in one session. Jean died from cancer a few years ago and even when undergoing treatment, she never forgot to send my offspring an advent calendar. Each year I always think of Jean, remembering her thoughtfulness towards my offspring during the festive season.