Virginia Barton

9 December 2014: Advent

9 December 2014


Mid Advent without a single mention of the season, bar the preparation of presents! Yet it’s the loveliest of seasons. Anticipation of great joy; whereas Lent, which also plays a waiting game, is associated with great suffering and penitence, climaxed by the even greater joy of the Resurrection.


There is something breathless about Advent. Every woman expecting a child will recognise the feeling of a secret inward hug. I remember talking and singing constantly to my unborns, all four of them.

Remembering the blessing of waiting for a child that is longed for, is cherished by we old grandmothers. Pity the tragedy of the expectant mother who dreads or resents the forthcoming birth of her infant.




Now for the most delightful and original of Advent Calendars: a line of little knitted socks! Every day a new one is fashioned and pegged up, exactly the right size for a few sweeties (or a tiny foot!) to be tucked in. There will be 24 of these eventually, and I expect they will be carefully kept for next year, or will new ones be made?

This is an entirely new Advent custom to me at least, yet so appropriate, and so charming. I specially like the fact that they are all different; odds and ends of wool perhaps? Imagine the thoughts that go into the knitting of them – shared by every mother the world over.


I wish I’d thought of such a delightful way of marking the days till Christmas, but I was programmed into buying the “open a door every day” type of Advent Calendar. Exciting as that is, these tiny socks knock spots off them.






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