Friday, December 21, 2012

On the first day of Christmas, a festive song

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….”
I will be continuing our day-by-day count to Christmas, but I will also be joining in a blogging challenge, the Twelve Days of Christmas, and so the countdown starts anew.
Starting the 21st, each day has a topic. Day one is “A Festive Song,” and as this is the “Twelve Days of Christmas” challenge I find “The Twelve Days of Christmas” quite appropriate. Each day has taken us one step closer to the holidays with Christmas tasks checked off the list, the 21st marks a turning point of sorts as the festivities begin. Although I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve been documenting our preparations for Christmas this December, some days in a little more detail than others.  From the Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade and picking out our tree, to decorating the house and enjoying the lights and sights downtown, we’ve been busy preparing for our first Christmas as a family of four. This last week was no different.
Day 17:  “… a Playmobil advent calendar”
We’ve been tremendously enjoying the advent calendar that vecmamma Inga sent the boys. Growing up it was a family tradition that our godmothers (and sometimes grandmothers or other family members) would send us advent calendars to help us count off the days before Christmas. Often it was a nativity scene with Christmas images hidden behind little doors, or if we had been really good a chocolate. What makes the boys’ calendar so fun this year is that there is a toy for each day, together forming a set complete with Santa, a reindeer and elf, even presents for the sleigh and a naughty/nice list for Santa to check twice.

Day 18: “… two behaving boys and a Playmobil advent calendar”
Last minute shopping finished! And two stockings finished! Well, one I just put some finishing touches on, but Mikus has been a good boy this year and wanted a sock of his own to hang...

Day 19: “... three more pans of piparkūkas, two behaving boys and a Playmobil advent calendar”
Somehow it seems to take longer and longer to use up all the dough each year! The traditional Latvian Christmas cookie, the piparkūka, is a spice cookie in some ways similar to spice cookies or gingerbread. However, they are extremely delicate and time-consuming to make, and truly end up a labor of love to bake. “Only once a year” I remind myself, and proceed to burn another pan while busy plucking Mikus off the table he has climbed or helping Lauris find a missing toy.
Day 20: “... four generations, three pans of piparkūkas, two behaving boys and a Playmobil advent calendar”

The rain in Greenville reminded me of our adventurous trip up north three years ago while pregnant with Lauris. What started as rain in the Upstate turned into snow the farther north we drove, and after traversing only 60 miles in 4-5 hours' time, crossing a snowy median to escape stand-still traffic and detouring well out of our way, we finally found a hotel before driving the final 6 hours north the following day. This year the temperatures remained well above freezing and any driving was thankfully uneventful, which is how we came to have four generations in one room. What a blessing to be close enough to family to celebrate the holidays together!
Day 21: "... fiiiiiive cold little fingers! Four generations, three pans of piparkūkas, two behaving boys and a Playmobil advent calendar”

Snow!!! We woke to wind blowing and temperatures well below what we are used to in Greenville, but the inch or two of snow was welcomed with snow pants and gloves!  As we enjoy this time with family and take advantage of our unexpected luck with the weather, I wish every one of you success in your final preparations and the ability to sit back and enjoy the holiday season!




  1. It looks so beautiful with all the snow - truly a Christmassy scene at your house! Here it will be 36 C, and very sunny, so we are the complete opposite of your experience. Love the family traditions that you are continuing, I think that's what I love the most about this time of year as well. xx

    1. Thanks Heidi! May you and yours have a beautiful Christmas!

  2. Love this advent calendar! Am planning to be more inventive with that next year, didn't quite manage it this Xmas... So lucky to have snow :-)

    1. Isn't it great, I'm thankful the grandmother took care of the search this year. I've seen wooden ones that parents can fill themselves too, they are reusable every year. Happy holidays!


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