The countdown continues...
Thanks for all the lovely replies to last week's blog.
A couple of people mentioned Advent calendars, so I'll start with that.
We've got an office Advent calendar that my colleague Carrie bought for the department. Here's a picture of me opening today's door:
Our office Advent calendar
It has a picture of Santa Claus (also called Father Christmas) surrounded by lots of small children. He is carrying a sack of presents on his back and he has a finger to his lips, indicating that the children should be quiet and not tell their parents that they've seen him! The tradition is that Santa Claus comes at night and children are supposed to be asleep and then when they awake they find lots of presents at the foot of their beds.
This Advent calendar has 24 little doors with a chocolate behind each one. The doors are numbered 1-24 for each day from the first day of Advent (1 December in the UK) to Christmas Eve (24 December in the UK). Children in the UK love opening the doors of the calendar each day. Sometimes they find a little picture inside, sometimes a chocolate and sometimes a sweet.
Do you have Advent calendars in your country? What about Santa Claus? Or do you celebrate St. Nicholas' day on 6 December?
Can anybody tell me more about St. Nicholas' day? Elisabeth wrote about it in reply to my blog last week. She said, "Children put their shoes on the windowsill on the eve of that day, and the next morning they find their shoes filled with fruit and nuts and sweets." I didn't like the sound of the 'Krampus' - a scary figure. If St. Nicholas brings the presents, what does the Krampus do?
If you live in another country, what other traditions do you have at this time of year? Have you got any special foods or celebrations as the weather gets colder? Or perhaps in your country the weather is getting hotter now - if so, how do you celebrate this time of year?
Advent calendar - a way of counting down to Christmas - it has a window to open for every day from 1-24 December (Christmas Eve) with a picture or chocolate behind each window
Santa Claus/ Father Christmas - the man that British children believe brings them Christmas presents during the night before Christmas Day
Sack - a large bag of strong coarse material
Tradition - the passing on of cultural practices from generation to generation
At the foot of - at the end of (something)
Advent - a time of preparation for Christians, leading up to Christmas
Christmas Eve - (24 December in the UK) the day before Christmas Day
Eve - the evening before (something)