If you have read my blog for some time, you also know about my Advent traditions and my Advent basket. Christmas doesn´t start until the 24th of December in Norway, or at least it used to be like this. Now we are getting more and more influenced by traditions from other part of the world where Christmas starts the morning after Thanksgiving, or even some places early in October..... I am fighting my own little fight against this. The 23 first days of December is Advent in my life. The colour is purple and the days are for reflections and contemplations. For many years this meant that there were no signs of Christmas in our house untill lillejulaften Little Christmas Eve, the 23rd of December. And as everything was meant to be ready the next morning, julaften, Christmas Eve, the 24th, which is the main day of celebration in Norway, lillejulaften turned out to be a day in a frenzy, where everything had to be done.
Years ago I found the time ready to change this, and I started my Advent basket tradition. I made myself my own Advent calendar, a basket which I every night filled with items from my collections - a nativity, a cd with Christmas music, a homemade angel, a snow globe, a snowman, a vintage Christmas magazine......and so on. Then, before breakfast the next morning, I "opened" the basket, found a place for the creche, played the cd and so on.
This way The House in the Woods slowly, slowly gets into the Christmas mood, though it is still Advent which dominates.
Every year I find it more and more challenging to keep up this tradition. Christmas is everywhere, Advent is hard to be found. Even purple candles are difficult to find in Norway now. Everybody are asking for the red ones.
May be it has to be like this. After all Advent is leading up to Christmas, a time for preparations, a time for waiting, a time for fasting while waiting for the grand feast!
May be it has to be like this?
As long as Britt-Arnhild´s House in the Woods is running, the three first weeks of December will still be dedicated to Advent.
The cd in my Advent basket today was Bach´s Christmas Oratorio. I am playing it now, while I sort my photos from yesterday.
We have a group of Sami people in our diocese. Now we are working with a project to see how we can make this visible in the cathedral. We had a meeting working on this yesterday, and to look at possibilities, we did a site visit inside the cathedral.
A new, main organ is being installed in the church these days.....or rather these months. The completion is planned to May 17th, Norway´s Constitutional Day. So much work is being done. And part of the cathedral is closed for months.
To look at possibilities we were taken "behind the scenes", and got a first glimpse of what the cathedral will be like with the new organ.
Next year I am sure Bach will be played on it.
Have you started your Christmas celebrations, or are you still in an Advent mood?