Growing up in a mostly Irish family, (with some German and Italian thrown in there on my father’s side) meant that Christmas was a full blown Catholic celebration…except I don’t recall ever going to Midnight Mass with my family…nor do I recall having a Nativity Manger and Stable…and I certainly do not remember EVER having an Advent Calendar…until I had children in London.
Advent Calendars have been out in the London shops, oh… probably since August, and yet we don’t have one…and nor did I think to get one. I forget every year and every year around a week into December, C1 and C2 want to know why they don’t get chocolate sweets every day like all of their other friends do during the month. Hmmm…because a Second Coming may occur before your mum remembers?
I’m still worn out from all the Thanksgiving pies so this is not the time to get arts and crafty. Homemade is not an option. ‘Tis the season for going to the shops.
Grandma B very helpfully suggested that I dash out to M&S… or to Tesco… or to the Book Warehouse across the street as even she had noticed Advent Calendars in all of the shops when she was here…in October. Geesh…thanks Grandma B. Note to Grandma B: start storing Advent Calendars for your grandchildren as their mum can’t make the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas so quickly in this country.
So, off I go to no less than 6 shops in my neighborhood…I don’t care what kind it is, although I would prefer one without a cartoon character but even that Where’s Wally one I saw a few weeks ago would do right about now. But you know it’s not happening…not only can I not find Wally, I cannot find ANY Advent Calendars…AT ALL.
But wait! As I walk by Waterstone’s bookshop on my way to picking up C1 and C2 at school, there is what appears to be a beautifully designed book with a carousel and festive illustrations. The front of the package says ‘no glue required’, so I think it must be a simple cut out and pop up product. I’m a week late but we can make up for loss time by opening a few straight away, especially as there are no sweets to negotiate sharing sensibly. I’ll take it!
Doesn’t it look pretty? Hold that thought…
Back home and C1 and C2 are genuinely excited to help me put our 3D carousel together. C1 carefully removes all of the pieces from the perforated pages, but now C2 is starting to look suspiciously at the candyless carousel. C2 asks if we can ‘glue’ leftover Halloween chocolates onto the calendar dates. Uh, no my precious. I know you can read and it clearly says on the package, ‘no glue required’. C2 is now less than impressed.
I carry on with my pop up 3D instructions, and am trying to insert the round tabs to form the base of the carousel. Except the ‘tabs’ are not staying in place and there do not seem to be enough slots to put the tabs into…but it says that glue is not required, so it must fit…surely it must fit. It has to fit…it will fit…it’s now…ripped. Okay, no glue but where’s the Scotch tape (sellotape) to complete this carousel stand? There we go. Much better. Sort of. Right? Errr…
Ahhh, hang on there is a piece missing! Of course! C1 is working diligently on the ‘spinnable’ bit that inserts into the bottom board to ‘play music.’
So now all I have to do then is put the base around the cone and voila…our Christmas season can begin.
Hmmm… maybe I should just stick with Thanksgiving for a bit longer? My pies were really good and so much better. Don’t ya think? Now THAT is pretty, but I digress.
Anyway, here is my my tormented Christmas carousel.
And here is what someone else managed to do…I suspect using A LOT of glue…REALLY?!?
C1 takes one look at ‘mummy’s’ Advent Calendar and declares it a disaster. I completely agree with C1. C1 then proceeds to tell me with a rather apologetic tone, ‘I’m sorry mummy but THAT is definitely a fail.’ I didn’t know up until this point that my efforts were being so closely graded by C1. I certainly haven’t been told of any ‘success’, but I wholeheartedly agree with this fail so say nothing.
I promise C1 and C2 that tomorrow we will have a much better Advent Calendar, although I have no idea WHERE since I have exhausted the shops in my neighborhood. It occurs to me that CSr joined Amazon Prime a couple of weeks ago, and while I suggested at the time that it was not necessary, I am not thinking of our carbon footprint if I can have an Advent Calendar shipped to my door in 24 hours.
And yes, the one we chose has sweets…
The homemade option won despite my best efforts.
And yes, we ate them all and are up to date.
Now I need to catch up on that as well.