Monday, November 16, 2009

Counting Down the Days

You might think that this scene is from our miniatures cabinet...

...but actually, it's one of our new Advent calendars! (Can you see the little "20" window next to the shop-keeper's head?)

This year's Advent calendars and cards have arrived, and as usual, they're a big hit with everyone who visits Castle in the Air, not to mention with all of us. We love this tradition, which grew out of different German customs of counting down the December days through Christmas Eve.

Some German families in the early 19th century would make a new chalk mark on their door every day beginning December 1. Others observed Advent each day by hanging a seasonal picture in their home. And other families used candled wreaths or clocks in anticipation of Christmas.

Of course, the most widespread Advent tradition today is that of the paper calendars with windows that open to reveal a sweet little picture for each day of the 24 days. Everyone in my family gets their own calendar to open, and then we have several that we share. In the past few years we've have six to eight calendars going in the days leading up to Christmas, but other years that number's been as high as 16!

4 comments:

Karin Corbin said...

can they be purchased in your online store?

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I just searched through the shop website - are the advent calendars listed? I can't seem to find them. The shopkeeper calendar is fab!

Shelley Noble said...

Squeal! That is so adorable!

Castle in the Air said...

Our intention was to list the advent calendars online but they have been selling so fast and time seems so short that we have been entirely unable so far. Sadly!
That said I'm happy to send you one mail order. Just give us a ring and we will post it today. We have dozens and dozens of designs which are all wonderful but the shopkeeper is by far my favorite. (I opened it two years ago and it is fabulous inside too!) Just today I decided that in all my spare time I am going to make myself that shop. I have a little apothocary shop like it in my studio...Clearly it is time for a toy store!