Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grey Bear (Ad) Vents

Once again, things have gotten a little stressful around the house and my bipedal attendants are even more down-in-the-dumps than usual (and that's saying a lot). I'm sympathetic to their situation - I'd be a pretty rotten freelance Goodwill Ambassador if I weren't a caring sort of bear - but I admit that they've been driving me a little crazy.

In an effort to cheer them up, I picked them up an Advent calendar - and of course, it has bears on it! I thought that opening a little window every day and finding a chocolate would be fun - plus they can count down the days until Christmas.
I know they're also a little sad that they won't be spending Christmas in Spain with my female bipedal attendant's mother this year - which they've done for the last 3 years - but then I reminded them that they could be spending the holidays on a ship off the coast of Somalia, so buck up!

Anyway, Advent technically begins today but children (and my bipedal attendant
s) will begin opening the windows of their Advent calendars tomorrow. Advent calendars were created by German Lutherans about 150 years ago and the first printed calendar appeared in shops in Hamburg around 1902. A Swabian claimed to have invented the calendar, but I don't give that theory much credit since I don't know what a Swabian is. You can tell that our calendar is German because one of the little bears (bottom left) is holding a pretzel!

A few years later, what we think of as the "modern" Advent Calendar with its 24 little doors marking the days until Christmas became a staple in Germany and eventually, chocolates and candies began to magically appear behind those little doors. Since tomorrow is Day 1 - and my attendants aren't very savvy about the ways of the world - I had to demonstrate how the calendar works. That's me on bottom-right showing them what's behind door number 1.

Nowadays, some Advent calendars have extra days to accommodate Hanukkah (I don't quite understand that) and New Years and you can even buy digital Advent calendars too - although I don't know how you get your little piece of chocolate from one of those. Sometimes humans are too clever for their own good.

Anyway, I know that my bear calendar won't transform the lives of my attendants but maybe it'll give them something to look forward to and keep their grumbling to a minimum. Of course, knowing them they'll start arguing about who gets to open the door and who gets to eat the chocolate. I think I'll have to get another calendar just to keep track of the two of them. Now I know why we bears hibernate!


Anonymous said...

You poor, poor thing.
Have you ever considered adopting yourself out?
Maybe you should give the two of them a cuff across the ear. (Especially her)

Grey Bear said...

As a freelance Goodwill Ambassador, I cannot condone violence - even if my female bipedal attendant (sometimes) deserves a cuff across the ear.