Sunday, 9 December 2012

Advent Day 9

'Rather an odd combination today,' says Primrose who is on Advent Box duty because Daisy is having a lie-in.
'Really?' I say. 'How so?'
'Well, they were dropped off by your granddaughter, Kayleigh,' says Primrose. 'She said you will understand.'

I open the Advent Box and there within lie a candle and a pie. Ah yes...

You see, I have an Advent candle which has been burning down too quickly in the manner of 'light the candle....whoosh....three days disappear immediately.' Which does not help towards the atmosphere of building up tension to the big day.

So, yesterday I bought another Advent Candle because it was in the sale at Laura Ashley. And it meant I had to light it so it would burn down eight days in one evening. Which would have worked if it had the instant flammability of Advent Candle Number One. But it didn't. This candle appears to be flame- proof. 4 hours burning and it just about reached day 2.

So today, when Kayleigh was visiting I lit the candle mid- way through the afternoon to give it head start as we are now playing Christmas Catch-Up what with today being 9th and candle thinking it's still 2nd. I was explaining to Kayleigh that when the candle had burnt all the way down to the holder, it would be Christmas Day. So she took up position on the sofa and stared at it like staring would make it burn quicker.

'When it's Christmas Day,' I said, because I was cuddled on the sofa with her, 'you, and Daddy and Mummy are coming round for Christmas Dinner. What would you like for Christmas Dinner? Goose?'
'No,' said Kayleigh.
'Roast potatoes?' said I.
'No,' said Kayleigh.
'Parsnips? Pigs in blankets? Peas? Gravy?' said I, reeling off other bits 'n' bobs that one would find on a Christmas Dinner plate.
'No,' said Kayleigh.
'Pudding,' I said. 'Chocolate cake? Trifle? Profiteroles?'
'No,' said Kayleigh, because it was becoming a bit of a theme and also she was distracted by candle watching.
'Well, how about some of my vegetarian Christmas Pie?' said I.

'YES!' said Kayleigh. 'Pie for Christmas!' And she took a brief moment from candle watching to tell everyone that on Christmas Day she was 'having Christmas Pie with Gran.'

I was so proud! A little vegetarian in the making!

Anyway, she instantly connected the burning down of the candle with the arrival of the pie. For the ensuing three hours, she thought that as soon as the candle burned down, pie would appear, and I couldn't make her understated that this event would occur in 16 days' time and not today.

She got quite shirty at one point, but I distracted her by putting a Christmas film on the telly and Andy distracted her by telling her there were squirrels loose in the house.

And so today I saw the season of Advent through the eyes of a child who is just realising that something exciting is happening at this time of year. An impatient child, I grant you, but I remember that impatience, too, and the wishing that Christmas would arrive now, and learning that patience and calmness makes the Spirit of the Season last longer, and that is a good thing.

This will be Kayleigh's third Christmas. I'm looking forward to it, because it is time for new traditions to be started, ones to share with the grandchildren so when they become adults themselves they might just look back on their memories of childhood Christmases with a smile and say, 'I remember when Gran and I shared a Christmas Pie.'

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