I love December. I love the ritual counting down of days until my birthday and Christmas. I love the smells of Christmas like clove studded oranges that I’ll make in a few weeks. I get all crafty in December. I spent all afternoon making a cheap advent calendar from some coloured construction paper--fondly called “destruction” paper in my household. Advent calendars are big in the UK. They have little doors that you open every day with a piece of chocolate hiding behind it. But they are almost always made with milk chocolate by a company like Nestle that we boycott. (If you want to see why we boycott them click here: http://www.breastfeeding.com/advocacy/advocacy_boycott.html .) But this is a simple crafty one made with old fashioned paper chains stapled or glued together in a tree shape. You cut off a loop each day until Christmas. What fun! I tried to number the loops but quickly realised that they are so interconnected that you might cut off number 12 and 13 and 14 would fall off! Damn my poor spatial maths abilities! But luckily I just slid the numbered loops around to face the wall and didn’t sweat it. This isn’t meant to be perfect--just fun.
December is all about traditions for me. We have an advent candle that has the numbers 1 - 24 on it and every day you burn down one more day until you get to Christmas. Every night we burn down a number and read from a booklet I prepared of Christmas/holiday/winter poems and readings then we cut a loop from the paper chain tree and snuggle up to watch a Christmas episode of our favourite shows on dvd. Tonight we watched The Black Adder Christmas special where Ebenezer Blackadder was the kindest man in all of England. As the song in the opening credits suggests:
He’s always kind unto the sick
He’d never spread a nasty rumour
He never gets on people’s wick
And never laughs at toilet humour
He is routinely taken advantage of until one night is visited by the Ghost of Christmas (played by a splendid Robbie Coltraine) who has a “drop of something a wee bit medicinal” and shows him visions of his baddie ancestors. This completely turns him around and he becomes the nasty, sarcastic Blackadder we all know and love. Huzzah!
Over the course of the month I’ll show you some of the crafts I do like making ornaments, clove studded oranges and some easy and cheap pressies you can make. I’ll also showcase any of our holiday baking.
We’ve got trips planned galore this month so stay tuned for reports on all the comings and goings from the Spider household.