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December 3, 2006

Advent, 2006
Posted by Teresa at 12:58 PM *

Happy Advent! Here’s a calendar. Jim found it for me.

As part of what she describes as her “continuing effort to fight the cold and dark by making Christmas-Solstice-whatever last as long as possible,” Avedon Carol has also been collecting Advent calendars. She’s got some goodies, but watch out for the Radio 3 Bach Christmas Advent Calendar—it plays music at you without asking.

Erin Kissane and Alexis both recommended the Leslie Harpold Advent calendar.

(See reviews, below.)

Comments on Advent, 2006:
#1 ::: Mris ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2006, 02:15 PM:

I have this theory that a new recipe I found called Orange Kisses will bring some light to the abundance of Minnesota darkness, and further that varying them to be Lemon Kisses and Lime Kisses might do similar light-ish things. I suspect that buying additional citruses Just To See is taking a good idea too far.

At my house, we were hoping to have an early Mikulas today with our favorite four-year-old, but the chocolates I ordered by bellowing cheerfully at a Hungarian man halfway across the country (by phone) did not arrive in time. So we will have a late Mikulas with him instead.

But there will be saffron buns in plenty of time for Santa Lucia. I don't actually know that making lussekatter for Lucia Day helps coax the light back, but I will do my saffron-scented part just in case.

The plural is very important in my "Happy Holidays."

#2 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2006, 02:24 PM:

Thanks, Teresa. I bookmarked it.

#3 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2006, 05:34 PM:

thank you!

if I can get about 30 more cartons of books unpacked, sorted, shelved/repacked&stored/given away in the next week (along with doing some work for a craft sale on the 8th that I found out about a week ago *whimper*), I can get the decorations out of storage, make candles, do all that bring-cheer-against-the-dying-light stuff I love to do.

#4 ::: Zvi ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2006, 05:39 PM:

The advent calendar doesn't work properly in my version of Firefox (Windows/1.5.0.8), but looks quite nice in Internet Explorer (Windows/6.0).


#5 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2006, 05:40 PM:

Yes, so did I. I'm sort of doing Advent for the first time this year, so it's very interesting. And smart to have a calendar where you can't peek ahead!

#6 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2006, 05:44 PM:

Er, "so did I (bookmark it)" I meant. Preview took took too long, I see.

#7 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2006, 09:31 PM:

Zvi, I have the same Firefox version you do, and it works fine for me. Have you updated your Flash plug-in lately?

#8 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 12:19 AM:

I also have FireFox 1.5.0.8 and the calendar works fine. I think there's a FF 2.0 available; I haven't gotten my automatic upgrade notice from the Mozilla bunch yet, so I haven't switched, but that might be just what's needed, Zvi.

#9 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 12:37 AM:

The BBC Doctor Who Website has an Advent Calendar as their countdown to this year's Christmas Special, The Runaway Bride. Check it out at http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho .

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 10:37 AM:

Reviews:

The calendar Jim found for me (St. Margaret Mary Parish): A nice picture and a good short text for each day. The days are in order and they're labeled with the date, so you don't have to fumble around wondering which one it is today. Very satisfactory.

Episcopal Diocese of Washington: Earnest and full of resources. Each day you get (1.) a piece of Christmas-related art from somewhere around the world, with an explanation thereof; (2.) a click-here opportunity to do some earthly Good Work (buy a goat, send drought-resistant seeds, support rural mobile health clinics, send relief to a thousand-odd children left homeless by a fire, etc.); (3.) a Meditation of the Day (so far, not half bad); and (4.) the Daily Office. They really give you your day's worth.

North Pole Advent Calendar: well made, very pretty, largely secular. Some days you get jigsaw puzzles.

Woodlands Junior School Advent Calendar: very much a school project. Every day, you get a bunch of facts about Christmas in some part of the world. As a kid in elementary school I'd have found it interesting, but it doesn't do much for me now.

BBC Radio 3: A Bach Christmas: As noted earlier, it plays music without asking first. You can stop the background music by opening an Advent day and clicking "stop". Otherwise, you'll get an additional voice reading aloud the Bach Fact for the day. You also get downloadable music (it's in alphabetical order: day one, Art of the Fugue; day two, B-Minor Mass; day three, Cantatas; and so forth), and your Bach Quiz question for the day. Summary: rich in Bach, but has almost nothing to do with Advent.

Leicester Faith Advent Calendar: you get a daily middlin'-cute photo of some radio personality from BBC Radio Leicester. I'd find this marginally interesting at best if I listened to Radio Leicester, which I don't. (It's a general fault of the site. Whoever puts it together has a very deficient sense of what's interesting, and no grasp whatsoever of "cut to the chase, already.")

Religion & Ethics Advent Calendar: Every day you get a small stained-glass picture, and an audio reading. I didn't like the first one: John Savident overdoing it on "Joseph's Journey." They'd have done better to have started with the second one, John Carey reading from the first chapter of John. Day three, "Advent 1955" by John Betjeman (John Savident again, a bit more tolerable). Day four, Paul Jones reading "The Oxen" by Thomas Hardy. There's a pleasant, edgy uncertainty in having no idea what's going to come out of your speakers this time. This one's a keeper.

Doctor Who Advent Calendar (thank you, Nina): another one that plays a background soundtrack without asking. This time it's churchbells and handbells, with a very audible splice at the repeat that gets more irritating every time you hear it. To get relief, click on an Advent day. So far there's been a goodie every day: wallpapers, a game, Doctor Who bank notes, and a song you have the option of listening to. Nice seasonal promo for this year's Christmas episode.

Erin Kissane and Alexis both recommended the Leslie Harpold Advent calendar, which gives you a daily Christmas link, a Christmas memory (she solicits them from her readers), and "something special." It's lovely.

#11 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 10:42 AM:

I just noticed that the Foglio Family has released some Agatha Heterodyne calendars. I think I'll ask my wife for the one about DuPree.

#12 ::: Erin Kissane ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 12:25 PM:

Leslie Harpold's calendar is wonderful again this year. Each day includes a Christmas memory (many submitted by guests), an activity, gadget, or poem, and a link to something like the How to use Furoshiki.

#13 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 01:25 PM:

My Advent calendar is dead-tree, and in fact recycled from last year, because I could not bear to give up the facade of San Marco in Venice, where you open the doors and there are angels (mostly German) behind. Mostly the doors are staying shut(tish) before their time.

#14 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 01:31 PM:

I am in the process of making myself a new Advent calendar to replace the felt one that never came back from California(1). I have all of one ornament made, a beaded snowflake on blue velvet, but I am very happy with it. I can't decide yet if I want to make the tree part out of velvet too, or use something more durable.

(1) This is the part where I do not cry over my lost Christmas ornaments.

#15 ::: Madison Guy ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 03:23 PM:

What a lovely advent calendar. And I like the angelic way it responds to the universal peeking impulse...

It can, of course, also be used to mark the days until Festivus, when all grievances will be aired.

Note to Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle: It'll take more than a posturing governor to kill Festivus in its 40th anniversary year. Go ahead, boycott Kramer/Michael Richards. But leave Festivus alone.

#16 ::: Alexis ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2006, 07:27 PM:

Leslie Harpold does a glorious online advent calendar every year: http://harpold.com/advent/

:D

#17 ::: Barbara ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 10:27 AM:

Here's another calendar I found - I like it so far!

http://www.faithstreams.com/advent2006

#18 ::: Erin ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 02:14 AM:

Leslie Harpold, keeper for years of the delightful advent calendar mentioned above and beloved of many, died December 12th, five days after her advent calendar stopped. She will be greatly missed.

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It's gone far enough down the "last comments" list that someone might overlook it, so here's a bump.

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