For day 24 of Advent, Clara Bear makes her farewells to Prince Nutcracker and the Great Bear. The magical adventure with celestial creatures and woodland friends has come to an end, and Christmas morning awaits.
Sharing crumbs of kindness, for day 23 of Advent here are the woodland mice - and Mouse King - from Woodland Nutcracker.
Snow Birds, Frances Tyrrell 2015
For day 22 of Woodland Advent, two visiting "snow birds". And from Woodland Nutcracke
r, here are the guests arriving at the home of the Bear family.
For day 21 of Advent, here is the proud tartan-wearing Drum Major from Woodland Nutcracker
, leading the parade of pipes and drums, dancers, skaters, performers and friends.
For day 20 of Woodland Advent, some small but mighty drummers from Woodland Nutcracker
. (What tune are they marching to? The Black Bear
Leaping for joy with her ribbon dance skills is polar bear Yuk Tuk, champion gymnast from Woodland Nutcracker.
For the 10th day of Advent, a woodwind musician from the Woodlands.
Advent means "waiting" or "something good is coming". This is why history professors are always talking about the advent of automation, the advent of industrialism, even the advent of the Stone Age. Mostly, though Advent is about dancing around wondering if you can be good enough, long enough, to get that pony you asked for. (I never asked for a pony. I wanted a horse. No half pint measures for this girl!)
Advent calendars are all over the place - chocolate, small gifts, even money, Babyccino made up a book advent calendar back in 2009 which she updates every year. It's a simple enough concept. Collect as many winter or holiday books as you can, wrap them in paper and number them. Open one each night from December 1st through the 24th.
For suggestions on how to make another Bookish Advent calendar - with a list of book suggestions, visit Delightful Children's Books.
It's not too late to make a partial calendar for the dancers in your family. Whatever you are waiting for this time of year - a baby, a miracle of lights, a fat man in red, snow, a magical star, the dragons of winter - a count down calendar can slow down the dance.
Here is another idea for a countdown calendar.
The Kindness Chain: Cut and decorate strips of colored paper, longer than they are wide. (Say five inches by an 1 1/2 inches.). Make one strip for each day of waiting. On each one write a kind deed; for example, hold the door open for someone; let someone in front of you in line; help someone with a chore; talk to someone you don't know well. You know your family well enough to choose the right acts. Every so often add something fun, for instance, bake cookies; dance to holiday music; make a cotton ball beard.
Make a ring of one strip; slip the next strip inside and make it into a ring. You will end up with a paper chain. Each morning, pull open one strip and read the suggestion for the day.
For the eleventh day of Advent, high-spirited bears of sport from Woodland Nutcracker.
Here for day 12 of Advent is Ursa Major, the Great Bear. In Woodland Nutcracker
Clara pays a visit to her starry palace in the far north.
For Day 13 of Advent, one lordly leaping Moose. Were this the Twelve Days of Christmas the moose would have appeared on Day 10 with all nine of his companions. But that is far too many for one small Christmas tree bauble!
For the fourteenth day of Advent,some dancing foxes from Woodland Christmas
(pose inspired by Botticelli's 3 Graces).
For the day 15 of Advent, here are the juggling pandas of Woodland Nutcracker
making merry with a fine china tea service but dropping not a single piece.
For day 16 of Advent, the transformation scene from Woodland Nutcracker
, where the carved nutcracker toy becomes "a live fur-and-claws bear...tall, and so handsome".
Dancing up a storm for Day 17 of Advent are the Spectacled Bears
of Woodland Nutcracker
|Rabbit detail from "Woodland Santa", Frances Tyrrell |
For day 18 of Woodland Advent, a snow-bunny detail from a larger painting, Woodland Santa. I look forward to sharing some of the product this will appear on next year.
Christmas is closer, the nights are colder, the stars are bright and clear - for the 19th day of Advent here is one of the "Milky Way" racoons (Eight Maids a Milking) from Woodland Christmas
"Come kneel before the radiant Boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.
Jesus your King is born,
Jesus is born.
For the third day of Advent, the opening scene of Woodland Nutcracker
with Clara Bear and the splendid carved Nutcracker bear. What a party it was!
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"Rejoice and be merry, in songs and in mirth!", begins the old carol. It is the season for merry making, including dancing. Here for the Fourth day of Advent is part of a vignette of the Bears of Woodland Nutcracker
dancing a Round Reel of Eight.
A joyful angel for the Fifth day of Advent, with garlands of evergreen.
For St. Nicholas' Day, a Woodland cherub bearing gifts.
Of course there are fairies in the Woodlands! For Day 7, here is fairy mail delivered by Cardinal Post.
For the eighth day of Advent, the Bear twins of Woodland Nutcracker
search the sky for the Great Bear, Ursa Major.