sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 15, 2020

virtual advent tour 2020 signups now open
posted by soe 1:58 am

2020 Virtual Advent Tour blog button

Welcome to signups for this year’s Virtual Advent Tour. 2020 marks my sixth year as host of this annual event.

2020 has been a hard year for everyone, and the current world scenario doesn’t suggest the upcoming holidays are going to be any easier. We’re all thinking about how to celebrate differently at a time when tradition is particularly dear. But there are some annual events that can continue unabated, and this is one of them! Our celebration has been virtual since Zoom was the sound you made trying out your new sled Christmas afternoon! (Depending on when you last went sledding, of course!)

As you likely know, the typical Advent calendar is a season-marking device, often paper, but sometimes crafted of other materials, to count down from December 1st until Christmas. Each day, you open a door to unveil a hidden scene or piece of chocolate or some other delight. The Virtual Advent Tour is a bloggers’ take on that. In our version, each morning I’ll point you to a post at someone’s blog in which they share something about their holiday season.

Would you be willing to share a winter (or summer, if you’re south of the equator) holiday post or two next month? You’d know the date(s) ahead of time (and can request a specific one if you’d like) and there’s no need to tell me what you’re going to write about in advance. Your post can be as simple or as complex and in whatever format suits you — text, video, or audio are all good.

If you’re looking for inspiration, folks have shared favorite holiday music, ways they’ve adapted to being away from family, charities, recipes, religious calendar dates, books, local events, memories, traditions both old and new, and more. And if you’re worried about repeating something you’ve said in an earlier past, well, that can be part of the fun, too. While some people get a new Advent calendar each year, my family has always reused ours.

If this sounds fun and you’d like to participate, please leave me a comment on this post telling me what date(s) you’d like. I’ll update this post as people claim days.


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December 29, 2019

dupont decorations
posted by soe 1:20 am

Because I was sick and working too much just before the holidays, I didn’t get as much of a chance to check out the neighborhood’s Christmas displays as I would have liked. Today I went on a bit of a walkabout and got to see one of the local restaurant’s tree theme for the year:

Floriana Tree

Last year, Floriana had a Nancy Pelosi-themed tree, but this year they opted to celebrate Sesame Street‘s 50th birthday.

Sesame Street Ornaments

December 26, 2019

boxing day
posted by soe 2:04 am

Cap Hill Tree

I hope those who celebrate had a lovely Christmas today. We certainly did, filled with togetherness, gifts, delicious food, and lots of laughter and reminiscing.

And tomorrow, Boxing Day, there will be more of the same, with a visit with a friend taking center stage for me.

I wish you relaxation if you need it, in whatever form you can get it.

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 1 Comment.

December 24, 2019

virtual advent tour 2019: day 24
posted by soe 6:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour 2019

Season’s greetings on this fine Christmas Eve. We have reached our final day of this year’s Virtual Advent Tour together and relatively unscathed.

Our final host this year is Alissa at headknits. She has a post (and a great poem!) about Christmas Eve in her Ohio neighborhood.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all of our Virtual Advent Tour hosts — raidergirl3, Bridget, kathy b, Jo Kay, Rudi, Karen, DOD, Constance, and Alissa. I love the breadth of everyone’s posts, and, frankly, I wouldn’t be able to run this event without your help.

Thank you. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And god bless us, every one.

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December 23, 2019

virtual advent tour 2019: day 23
posted by soe 6:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour 2019

Welcome to the penultimate day of the Virtual Advent Tour! You know what that means, right? It’s Christmas Eve Eve!

Bridget at The Ravell’d Sleave has offered to take on today’s post, rather at the last minute. She will have a post up this morning, but in the meantime you can check out my favorite of her Christmas decorations, Rudolph, who likes to hang out with her kitties.

One more day, folks. One day more! (Yes, there is…)

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December 22, 2019

virtual advent tour 2019: day 22
posted by soe 6:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour 2019

It’s the final day Sunday of Advent and the first full day of winter and the first night of Hanukah, a point in time where many ancient traditions collide.

My own ancient traditions include radio theater productions. I may have mentioned before that I was not a good sleeper, at least not at the hours that children were supposed to be in bed. My parents were dutiful child-rearers, though, and put me to bed promptly at 8. For much of the year, they’d put on the radio or a cassette of music and tell me that even if I couldn’t fall asleep, I should just lie there with my eyes closed and listen.

At holidays, though, though, my dad, who grew up pre-tv, would go to the library and get cassettes out of radio broadcasts, which he would play for my brother and me.

“Greetings from Hollywood,” the announcer would intone on Lux Radio Theatre, who would then introduce a radio adaptation of a recent movie. Often the adaptations, edited down to fit the hour-long show runtime, would star the original cast members, but sometimes an actor would be unavailable, and they would just get another actor to fill in. On Lux, the actress would be expected to tout how, after a long day in makeup on set, she enjoyed using Lux Toilet Soap to keep her skin silky smooth. On other broadcasts, they’d extol other sponsors — Campbell’s Soups or tobacco, for instance. But Lux is the brand I associate most closely with these holiday broadcasts, and Christmas had the best ones of all.

Josh was particularly fond of The Miracle of the Bells. It featured Fred MacMurray, (Alida) Valli, and Frank Sinatra in a Christmas tragedy:

I enjoyed It’s a Wonderful Life, which featured James Stewart and Donna Reed, but not Lionel Barrymore:

Dad is a big Dickens fan, so I know he picked up A Christmas Carol for us to listen to. My guess it would be the Lionel Barrymore-Orson Welles version, which appeared on Campbell Playhouse, because that’s the most famous version (Dad, if I’m wrong, let us know which version you remember):

I hope you enjoy listening as you wrap gifts, bake cookies, or travel. I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

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