Three Households, Three Different Advent Calendars

Creating an Advent calendar is a beautiful tradition for a time that is special to so many of us. It’s as much fun putting a calendar for a loved one together as it is receiving one. Here are three variants from my side of the family and three households.

The first Advent calendar was created by my brother’s partner Ursi. I really love the colour combination of the wrapping paper with turquoise and black tissue paper. I loved it so much, that I went and got myself a package of turqoise tissue paper. The packages are tied up with thin silver ribbon. The same ribbon was used to add the star tags. Ursi placed all 24 packages in two wicker baskets. It was the first year Ursi made an Advent calendar for my brother.

Here are some of the items chosen for the Advent calendar: a gift certificate for a 4-course menu, a pair of socks with elephant print, $20.00 allowance 🙂, a Mojito in their favorite bar, a selection of sweets such a chocolate covered almonds, a box of chocolates, shower gel for men, Columbian beer as a reminder of a past vacation, a selection of fine spices in travel size, tealights with inspirational texts.

See here how Ursi’s Christmas card looked like. Instructions are included as well.

The gifts for this advent calendar were placed in Kraft paper bags. The bags are lovingly decorated with hearts and stars made of wood, and the numbers are written on the bags with a silver pen. The combination is rustic and goes very well with the elves. The lucky recipient of this advent calendar was our 15-year-old niece Mona. The calendar was made by our sister-in-law Claudia. She also had some good advice regarding preparations:

Advent calendar: I make notes on Christmas gift ideas year round. I have a file on my cellphone. I did the same for Mona’s advent calendar (I still have the list). And I’ll start again shortly when I have ideas 😊.
Christmas cards: My sister even makes the Christmas cards, which she sends out in December, in January. She’s been doing this for years.

Here a list of items that Mona’s Advent calendar contained:
Sweet treats such as a can of Stalden Crème. Something that was popular when we were growing up. It also contained a Kinder Pingui, something she never had when she was younger.

Antifouling glove with stylus for drawing and writing on her tablet
K-pop socks (she loves BTS)
Tie die to create her own t-shirt
1 x Lego Harry Potter (the set didn’t fit in the bag, so I left a note where she could go to find it)
Puzzle Harry Potter

The 2020 Christmas season was like none before.

It is with deep regret that we announce the Vancouver Christmas Market is postponed until 2021. Unfortunately, with the current safety guidelines we could not get approval for the 2020 Vancouver Christmas Market.

After the the initial numbness and Christmas is cancelled mood, team Elf, a dear friend and Klaus, came up with a brilliant idea. If the Vancouver Christmas Market is cancelled, we just create our own. It was a brilliant idea. We are a group of about six households, we all live within walking distance, therefore let’s create our own Christmas market. The idea was on each of the six Fridays before Christmas Eve somebody would host a market. Everyone would choose a Christmas market like dish and serve it in that manner as well. No sit-down fancy table setting, just very casual. We all got so exited about planning it all. And we had something to look forward to.
I chose December 18th and wanted to make spätzle one version with cheese and the other with onion and bacon. I had the decoration of my Christmas market hut all planned out. I also planned to have a little present for everyone to take home.
The planning phase was going on for about a week until Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Health Officer, announced that is is not permitted to visit other households until further notice. Now for sure Christmas was canceled!

Klaus and I had, despite all Covid-19 restrictions, our activity Advent calendar. It was rather hard to come up with ideas because gatherings of any kind were not possible.

Here are a few highlights.


December 1
Since we started sharing an Advent calendar, December 1st is always dinner at a nice restaurant. Restaurants were open, although with limited capacity.

December 4
We went on an after dinner walk around town. The evening ended at the bar of the Hotel Vancouver. In the lobby is a collection of breathtaking large format photographs. They were taken at the hotel for the 80th anniversary. See here for the entire set.

Bellman. Photography by Dennis Gocer at The Collective You.

December 5
That day we wanted to pick up the Christmas tree at our usual tree farm. It was a rather rude awaking when we found out that we should have had to make reservations because of Covid… So we had to make other arrangements. We did find a farm, however, we were not able to chop down our own tree. Small trees were only available already cut. Ok, better than no tree.

We had brunch before driving off into the valley.

December 6
The plan was to visit the Britannia Mine Museum. We wanted to go into the mine but that was not possible. But only the museum was open. Since we wanted to do the underground tour, the program was changed. We drove up to Squamish anyhow, but went to have lunch at Lil Chef Bistro. A tiny, cozy place that serves incredible spätzle with cheese and red cabbage served in a tiny metal bowl. It was the perfect comfort food for a dark, foggy day. The weather however yielded a few beautiful moody photos.

Highway 99, British Columbia

Porteau Cove, British Columbia – my happy place

December 8
Writing Christmas cards. If it’s not part of the Advent calendar, it never happens on time… It’s a tradition I can’t let go.

December 17
The adventure on that day was magical! We went snowshoeing on Cypress Mountain to see the Lights to the Lodge. See here for the impressions.

December 18
It was a sweet evening!

Klaus made these beautiful checkerboard cookies and I made cinnamon almond cookies.

December 21
It was another sweet evening. Klaus made Kanellängd for dessert. Kanellängd is a Swedish yeast based cinnamon bread. It was absolutely delicious!

December 22
I planned to go snowshoeing, however I was totally unaware that I was supposed to make reservations. Because we went snowshoeing the other evening, I realized that one has to do so. By that time of course it was way too late. Everything was booked. Instead we went to Deep Cove for lunch. Deep Cove is a quaint little community 13 km from downtown Vancouver. I love it out there.

Deep Cove, North Vancouver, British Columbia

Quiet walk through the forest

Griswold’s cousin’s house

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver

December 23
Mr. Klaus made waffles for breakfast. Oooh, yummy!

Christmas Eve
And as so many years before, we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas eve together. And despite all the hurdles, we had a lovely December.


If you want to share your Christmas traditions with our readers, please send us a note. It does not have to be anything extravagant.

Written by Keith4444


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