Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Calendar

When my daughter was about five years old she collaborated with me on drawing and constructing this advent calendar with its 25 little doors that open to reveal a surprise, one for each day of December up to Christmas. She remembers drawing the toys on the shelves at the right of the picture. And she advised on the general plan, but was not allowed to see the secret pictures behind the doors until they were formally opened, one by one, as December progressed. My daughter rediscovered this object tucked inside a giant picture book about pandas, having recently moved many of the books from her own childhood into the San Francisco apartment she now shares with her husband and their own tiny daughter. This month the three of them are making renewed use of the venerable home-made advent calendar, introducing Mabel Watson Payne to the ceremony of opening a fresh door each evening before bedtime. My daughter can remember what to expect behind some of the doors, but not all of them.

Mabel Watson Payne's new favorite trick is sucking on thumb or fingers while hand is in palm-upwards position.