I love the smell of hot spiced wine, Christmas baking, kitschy Christmas decorations, tons of snow and snowball fights. While I transform into a seasonal alcohol addict over Christmas who sees cookies as a staple food, I am usually too lazy to decorate our apartment. Therefore I reduce them to their essentials, like for example a super small Christmas tree with only few ornaments and no other decoration at all. I tend to stick with the really important things, cookies and hot spiced wine.
Just joking! Apart from cookies, hot spiced wine and snow, the thing I am most excited about Christmas is to have my own self-made Advent calendar. Every year, I love to think hard about the design and the fillings, and start to work on it in the middle of November so it is finished until November 30th. And yesterday, I finally finished my 2015 Edition.
What is an Advent calendar? It’s a calendar which begins on December 1st and ends on December 24th, Christmas Eve, the day we celebrate Christmas here in Austria. (Or at least the people who celebrate Christmas.) They come in many different layouts, with many different themes, and most common might be the ones filled with small chocolates which you can buy at every grocery store. And it seems like Advent calendars filled with small toys became more popular the last few years. Luckily, DIY Advent calendars got even more popular and it is now much easier to find material in many stores.
While I am super excited, Mr. Panda does not care much about Christmas, as he never really celebrated before he started dating me. I just ‘interviewed’ him while writing my post, with new secrets revealed!
“Have you ever had an Advent calendar before we started dating?”
“Have you ever even celebrated Christmas before we started dating?”
He shrugged “Yes, somehow. Like, you know, China-style. We go out and eat lots of food. But that’s all. So not really Christmas I think.”
I looked surprised. “So… I actually FORCED you to celebrate Christmas with me?”
He tried to put my mind at ease. “No it’s ok, as long as I can spend time with you. I also love your parents, and it is lots fun every year.”
At least it looks like he can be lured with tasty food, presents, and lots of cozy free time.
Since last year, we always had Advent calendars with small chocolate pieces in it. But last year, we (I) switched the concept in the spur of the moment. One night in November last year we were lying in bed, and I was feeling really down as my day was horrible. I asked Mr. Panda to make me a compliment to cheer me up a little.
“Uhmmm…. I love you!?”
I stared at him. “No, I want you to compliment me!”
He desperately tried to come up with something. “I love that… you cook for me every day?”
“Are you serious? You can’t say anything nice to me right now? Anything that you like about me or what I am good at?”
“That’s not so easy to come up with anything in such a short time, let me thing a little about it!”
While I told him like ten things I liked about him, we (I) came up with the idea to change our standard chocolate Advent calender to a ‘compliment calendar’. We (I) decided what each of us should write little compliments or lovely messages for the other on little pieces of paper, one for every day until Christmas. So they would make us remember how much we love each other at one of the most stressful time of the year. And that I could just reread them if I was feeling insecure and needed to hear something nice.
Both our notes along with a small piece of candy are filled into one of the white bags, which were made with the help of my awesome friend. To keep in shape (mostly me), paper bags and red envelopes take turns. As they are too small and thin, red envelopes only contain two notes, one for me and one for Mr. Panda.
This year my friend helped me so much with the design. She drew lovely pandas and kitties to make this year’s Advent calendar much more personal.
Do you have any pre-Christmas habits (you force on your partner)?