I have previously said on this blog how much I love Advent – the anticipation, the carols, the eating, the lights etc. But this year, for various reasons, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was a bit meh. A bit bear that’s hungover from drinking the dregs of beer cans she’s found in a hedge. A bit distant.
So…I decided to think of my own way to countdown to Christmas, to get back that excitement and hopefulness. I decided to create my own Advent calendar. A happy-thankful Advent calendar. A thankvent calendar, so to speak. And it gets created one day at a time. And I have no idea what’s going to come up each day.
The plan is to note down one thing I am thankful for from that day. Big or small, just one thing. And I’m going to share them here**,in the hope that it might encourage you, at least a wee bit, to think about the things that have made you smile (inwardly or outwardly). Heads up, food is probably going to come up a lot.
So here are the thankvent doors that I have opened so far…
Friday 1 December: I found dairy-free chocolate eclairs* in the supermarket (the one beginning with T and ending in O). It had been so long since I chomped down on a chocolate-covered, cream-filled choux delight that I bought two packets. Would have emptied the shelf but that would have stopped someone else experiencing the joy.
Saturday 2 December: A friend had a party to celebrate The Age Which Shall Not Be Mentioned and it was fun dancing and laughing with my buds.
Sunday 3 December: I ignored the instructions of the Google Maps lady while driving back from London, thinking I knew better. Turned out I didn’t. This led me to take an unfamiliar but handy route home from London, over the beautifully fairytale lit Chelsea Bridge.
Monday 4 December: Arrived at work to find someone at my desk, so I was forced to use the one by the window, which I’d been eyeing for a while…
Tuesday 5 December: My lovely parents. They do a lot. Today it was wallpapering my hallway.
Wednesday 6 December: I got over £2 off my dry-cleaning bill! Which I put towards the purchase of an over-priced but substantial and tasty almond croissant* which I bought from a cafe in Ealing, thus helping the local economy.
Thursday 7 December: Met a friend in a local haunt from my youth, which is still tasty and still reasonably priced (Fish in a Tie, Clapham). Plus dairy free chocolate mousse* for dessert! Yes!
Friday 8 December: The day is not yet over, but so far I’ve been grateful for the fact I have Fridays off, which allowed me to enjoy a chocolate hazelnut croissant* fresh from the oven of my local budget German supermarket, for breakfast. I realise this is technically two things. Apologies.
Roll on the rest of Advent!
*Told you food would come up a lot…
**It turns out I didn’t share them all here. Poor show. But off the top of my head here are a few more things I was thankful for:
– Being able to talk to a friend thousands of miles away through the wonders of technology, before going to visit a friend in my town.
– Living in London, which means popping into central London for a candlelight carol service at Westminster Central Hall was no biggie.
– Being able to visit atmospheric Crystal Palace Subway, not normally open to the public.
– My mum (whose birthday is in December.
– My dad.
– My parents.
– My contract being extended.
– Being offered a more interesting job nearer to home.
– Free food and drink at the work away day plus an afternoon disco.
– A comfortable home.
– A comfortable life – not having to struggle for food, clothing, water etc
– God’s patience and understanding.
– Being able to drive, and having a functioning car.