Advent Calendar Overview

Advent Calendar Overview

Advent CalendarFor the first 24 days of December 2015, my blog was turned into a multi-contributor Advent Calendar. It was definitely something fun, even though I realised that doing such a dense series takes a lot of time. I actually did far less writing than I had thought, and I read less blogs than I normally do. Still, it was great! I learnt a lot of things about how to be a host blogger, how to set deadlines, formulate guidelines and find my way around twitter (watch out for my very own twitter tutorial coming in 2016…). What a pleasant surprise that none of the participants were like students, if they were late it was for a good reason, and it was rare that things arrived late.

Many bloggers, who I see as pros out there, were still worried that their piece was too long, too short, or not what I was looking for. What does this tell me, I who have done a mere 2 guest posts so far, that however long we have been doing this, we are very similar.

Now, I try to thank these 21 guests as much as I can, but I feel that I cannot do them justice. It was amazing to have 21! people participate in the advent calendar.

87,5% of the Advent Calendar posts were by guest. As for gender equality, of those 21 guests 3 were male, that means 14,3%, so not all that equal. 4 continents were represented, but more than 4 were mentioned in the posts. As for the age span, I don’t really know all of the ages, I myself am 27 and don’t boast about it… I have the feeling we went from 21 (almost 22) to about 60, correct me if I am wrong! Two of the guests celebrated their birthdays on the 24th and the 25th, do you know who they are?

With this post, I want to thank all of the participants of the advent calendar. I want to thank everyone who read, liked, and commented on the posts. I want to thank everyone who shared posts of it on social media and their own blogs. I want to thank everyone in advance for coming back and reading the posts.

To make the reading and coming back to the calendar easier, you can find links to all 24 posts here:

Day 1: Opening the First Door by Solveig Werner
Day 2: My First Christmas at the Age of 31 by Doctor Gulara Vincent
Day 3: Oh, Christmas Tree by Melanie Noell Bernard
Day 4: Cherry Blossoms and Snowflakes by Solveig Werner
Day 5: My First Christmas in California by Evelyne Holingue
Day 6: Nikolaus I Still Believe! by Solveig Werner
Day 7: A Christmas Kodak Moment by Tara Paray
Day 8: The Gift of Reading by Anabel Marsh
Day 9: Christmas Memories of Rome by Judith Works
Day 10: Christmas Traditions by Diana Gordon
Day 11: The Christmas Storm by Trent McDonald
Day 12: The Legendary Magic of the Poinsettia by Corina Carrasco
Day 13: Christmas in Zimbabwe by Beaton
Day 14: A Whirlwind by Camille de Fleurville
Day 15: Christmas: The Perfect Excuse For A Fight? by Lucy Brazier
Day 16: A Collage of Christmas Memories by S.D. Gates
Day 17: A Stinking Hot, Australian Christmas by Rowena Newton
Day 18: Christmas Music with Kate Edwards
Day 19: Holidays are: Food and Family by Robin Rivera
Day 20: One Tradition After Another by Kerry K
Day 21: The Advent Calendar by Geoff Le Pard
Day 22: Moments in Time by Melissa Barker-Simpson
Day 23: Tom Bowcock’s Eve by Rosie Reast
Day 24: A German Christmas by Solveig Werner

Thank you! Have fun reading!


© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

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Advent Calendar Day 24: A German Christmas

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A German Christmas

Danzig Christmas Tree 2009
Christmas Tree in Danzig, Poland 2009

Most of my blog’s readers know this, I am German, but grew up in Germany the US and France. Still Christmas stayed a completely German affair. Not all parts of Germany are very Christmassy, nor are all Germans Christians. Still Christmas is important.

Today, I want to share some of my traditions for the 24th of December, or Heiligabend (Holy Evening).
The 24th of December starts with the opening of the last bag, window or door of the advent calendar. Because Christmas is almost here! Actually celebrations happen on the 24th rather than on the 25th. Today things are different for many Children in Germany, because most will be banned from the living room for most of the day.
Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 24: A German Christmas”

Advent Calendar Day 23: Tom Bowcock’s Eve by Rosie Reast

Number 23

Tom Bowcock’s Eve by Rosie Reast

Many years ago the small fishing village of Mousehole in Cornwall was starving. Constant winter storms made it impossible for the fishermen to go out and catch the fish the village depended on.

One winter morning just before Christmas, Tom Bowcock an experienced fisherman, decided to brave the storms to bring back food or die trying. He left in the early morning and battled the wind and the waves time and again until finally he found a shoal of fish. By the time he’d filled the small boat the darkness was falling and he turned the small boat back towards home Tom knew he wouldn’t be able to find safe passage through the rocks back to the safety of the harbour.

Despite knowing he’d die in the attempt to reach home, Tom carried on he was the only hope for the village. Then the miracle happened.
The walls of the harbour were lit up, the villagers had discovered Tom was missing and carried their lanterns to the harbour wall, lighting his way home through the night.

Tom arrived home safely and the village was saved, just two days before Christmas. For Christmas that year the people of Mousehole ate Stargazy pie, a type of fish pie with the heads sticking up through the pastry, as if looking at the stars.

Nowadays Mousehole is famous for its display of Christmas lights, and celebrate Tom’s heroic catch every year on 23rd December, known locally as Tom Bowcock’s Eve with Stargazey pie and starlit carols.

For me Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas, without a festive trip to the village to look at the lights covering the village shining through the winter darkness. Followed of course by a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.


 

Advent Calendar Day 22: Moments in Time by Melissa Barker-Simpson

22nd day of Christmas

Moments in Time by Melissa Barker-Simpson

The lights twinkled prettily on the tree, catching Wendy’s attention. She loved to hang the decorations, but more she loved to spend time with her daddy, and this was their time. A time when he told her stories that were full of Christmas magic.

 “What about this one, daddy. Tell me about this one.”

 He had shared the story many times, and his little girl never tired of hearing it. Still, when Dominic’s eyes hit the ornament, he remembered the day he received it so clearly, it became a looking glass to the past.

Dominic watched from beneath his shelter, as Indigo climbed from the old, silver Volvo. She had parked so close to the curb he’d heard the squeak of rubber against cement. He didn’t know her, had never spoken to her. She was Indigo because of her eyes; a blue so dark and piercing the first time he’d seen her, he forgot about his cold, damp clothes and wondered about the sadness he saw. Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 22: Moments in Time by Melissa Barker-Simpson”

Advent Calendar Day 21: The Advent Calendar by Geoff Le Pard

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The Advent Calendar by Geoff Le Pard

 ‘What is it, Mum?’ Emily Smith, 14 looked up from her book.

Gilly, her mother said, ‘A parcel from Uncle Augustus. What’s he say? Dear Both. I’m so sorry to miss you this Christmas but I found this antique Advent Calendar in a strange little shop in Greater Petching and thought of you. The man said it’s already full of surprises.’

In moments they were staring at a dark wooden box, two foot square and six inches deep. On one side there were 24 little knobs in 3 rows of 8 but none moved. Gilly left Emily trying to work out how it opened. Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 21: The Advent Calendar by Geoff Le Pard”

Advent Calendar Day 20: One Tradition After Another by Kerry K

Number 20

One Tradition After Another by Kerry K

December was always one full month of delicious food, seasonal scents, jingle bells, and sparkle. All month long, one tradition after another, each one better than the last.

My younger brother and I were born blind, the two youngest in a family of four. The surfaces  of the chocolate advent calendars our grandparents would buy us were smooth and indistinguishable for the two of us, until my mother would open up each door and punch the braille dots necessary to label every day’s number to follow along. The red and green construction paper linked Christmas chain my brother had hanging up in his room was colourless to him, but I loved the pattern and my favourite holiday bright red, counting the days. Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 20: One Tradition After Another by Kerry K”

Advent Calendar Day 19: Holidays are: food and family by Robin Rivera

door sign, flowers,

Holidays are: food and family by Robin Rivera

My paternal grandmother made her own tortillas everyday. Although she died of breast cancer when I was only nine, the thing I remember best is her cooking, she kept us well-fed. But it wasn’t always that way, my father told stories about all the nights he went to bed hungry as a child. It must have killed my grandmother not to be able to feed her children. Maybe that was way she felt so committed to feeding her grandkids and to making everything we ate from scratch. Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 19: Holidays are: food and family by Robin Rivera”

Advent Calendar Day 18: Christmas Music with Kate Edwards

Number 18

Christmas Music with Kate Edwards

This is ‘Lonely This Christmas’, a song originally written and performed by the British band Mud in 1974. It was Christmas Number One at the time and is a very popular Christmas song still.

 I am a member of an experimental pop band in the North East of England called Brilliant Mind. A few years ago, Brilliant Mind did a cover of ‘Lonely This Christmas’, and dedicated the ending of the song to all the places in the North East where it might be lonely at Christmas! Our singer, Calum, lists lots of names of places that can be found in the North East such as Durham and lesser known places like Coxhoe and Warkworth.

You can find out more about Brilliant Mind here:
https://www.facebook.com/brilliantmind/?fref=ts

I also write and perform my songs myself, and released my debut single ‘Every Key’ at the start of the month. Here is a link to my website:
www.kateedwardsmusic.com

Advent Calendar Day 17: A Stinking Hot, Australian Christmas by Rowena Newton

number 17

A Stinking Hot, Australian Christmas by Rowena Newton

If you’re someone who insists on a white Christmas and needs a hot roast with your boiling hot Plum Pudding, perhaps you’d better visit someone else for Christmas lunch.

However, if you’re feeling game, you’re invited to celebrate a true-blue Aussie Christmas with us. We’ll be celebrating Christmas in Sydney and regardless of the forecast, it’s going to be an absolute scorcher. That means, that unless you find yourself a good tube of zinc cream, you’ll be out there pulling Santa’s sleigh alongside Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 17: A Stinking Hot, Australian Christmas by Rowena Newton”

Advent Calendar Day 16: A Collage of Christmas Memories by S.D. Gates

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Image Source: zazzle.com

A Collage of Christmas Memories by SD Gates

The Holiday season for me is a like a collage of memories, all with different traditions. When asked to write this post by my friend Solveig, I had to dig deep into the recesses of my mind uncover the memories of my Christmases past. I suspect if I had lived in the same country, surrounded by family all my life the memories would be more concrete and vivid. Instead I have flashes of scenes, things that stand out in my mind about Christmas. Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 16: A Collage of Christmas Memories by S.D. Gates”