Christmas is a magical time … these are moments, which I invariably associate with hearth and home, beautifully decorated Christmas tree, as well as all the mouth-watering scents promising a wonderful Christmas Eve supper. It’s also a time during which our hearts are filled with hope of better tomorrow and an amazing willingness to make people happy, not only our close relatives, but also the ones who we don’t really know. The magical nature of this holiday season makes us desire to become better people, and being generous seems to be much easier than during any other festivities, which we celebrate during the year. While being a little girl I just loved that eager anticipation of Christmas, since that time was made even more pleasant if one reached for Advent calendars, whose small windows hid delicious chocolates, which came in different shapes, from angels through stars to reindeer and other symbols, which are associated, especially by children, with this particular holiday. While getting older I totally forgot about this tradition, as little Natalia grew up and lost this part of herself, which made it easy to make her happy – a feeling, which doesn’t really cost a little fortune.
Fortunately, there are still some adults who haven’t lost this childlike joy, and despite the fact that they no longer sit on the Santa’s laps, they still try to make this unique magical time of waiting for Jesus’ birth more pleasant, not only for themselves, but also for their closest family.
My friend Wiktoria is a master at creating and searching for interesting Advent calendars, which she gives as presents to her relatives. Thanks to her, the spirit of carefree and innocent Natalia appeared in me again … that’s why, today, I’d like to share her account of this pre-Christmas tradition with you.
When I was a little child I was willingly looking forward to Christmas. While being a little girl the magic of Christmas had a totally different nature to me, it was a time filled with an exciting uncertainty, since amongst others, first snow was always an amazing surprise to me, I was eagerly anticipating these marvelous moments during which I could decorate the Christmas tree together with my family, a tree under which always appeared fabulous gifts brought by Santa and Baby Jesus. One day, my parents came up with a great idea to make the time of waiting for presents and anticipating all this magical atmosphere of Christmas more pleasant … they gave me my first Advent calendar, which occurred to be nothing more than a carton of A4 size with an image of always smiling and good-natured Santa, which was divided into 24 hatches – magical cubbyholes – in which I could find delicious chocolates. It was a wonderful experience for me! Every day, I was impatiently waiting for dinner, after which I opened exactly one hatch. I was happily checking out little figures which were brought by the new day. The chocolates usually resembled angels, Christmas trees or bells … these mysterious discoveries made me willing to share them with my parents. As the years went by, I also grew up. I was no longer a child, but I became a woman. The only thing, which has never changed, is this lovely family tradition of Advent calendars. I’ve always really appreciated this carton image of Santa, which has helped me to count down the days till Christmas. Today, I’m 30 and I still maintain the tradition of these calendars. I love giving customized Advent calendars to my relatives, so that they could enjoy this unique time of Advent together with me. The only thing, which has changed since I was a child, is the form and the look of these calendars. I was keen on going to Christmas Markets in Germany. I always did it shortly before Advent, just to see still unavailable in Poland alternative versions of Advent calendars. I can remember well the times when I watched commercials on German TV, especially the ones which presented Advent calendars designed mainly for children by Playmobil. Huge boxes with the image of Playmobil figure dressed up as Santa were wide open to present snowy North Pole. While opening different hatches, every child would find further pieces needed to create the Santa’s factory. When I was a little girl I really wanted to get such a calendar.
After years, I was still watching commercials presenting these beautiful and really imaginative Christmas sets. Thanks to them I was able to give my relatives really unique Advent calendars, such as:
- the craft beer Advent calendar – with 24 cans of beer coming from German regional breweries;
- the calendar filled with 24 figures of fine marzipan coming from a famous Niederegger’s manufactory of marzipan.
I was also amazed with the fact that each brand producing sweets had its own calendars filled with their specialties. This year, I’ve been really happy while going through supermarket leaflets presenting their offers and seeing exactly the same calendars which I had had to shop for in Germany before last Advent season. The offers have exceeded my wildest expectations. Each store, no matter whether selling clothes, cosmetics or tea, has prepared its own calendar. That allows me to continually surprise my relatives with wonderful gifts making their Advent period of waiting for Christmas more pleasant.
My friend reminded me of the fact that family traditions are really important, as they allow as to share cheerful moments with our close ones. I hope you’ll also find Christmas traditions, which will allow you to make the people you really care about happy.
See you around!
Photos by: Wiktoria Kluzek, the Internet source