Are you anticipating Christmas yet? Only about six weeks to go. (I know, it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet, but…Christmas!!)
This month, my newest novel, A Child’s Christmas Wish released. This story is set in the pioneer town of Berne, Minnesota, and the characters are immigrants from Switzerland. And if anyone knows how to celebrate Christmas, it’s the Swiss. Even in the harsh realities of frontier living, they found a way to celebrate the joys of the season.
One of the Swiss Christmas traditions I found most interesting was the widespread use of Advent Calendars. Swiss parents use Advent Calendars to teach their children patience and anticipation in equal measure. They want their children to learn that anticipating an event can heighten the joy of its arrival.
Swiss Advent calendars can take many forms from opening a little window to reveal the day to lighting a new candle each night to building a Christmas train, adding a car each day.
In fact, in some Swiss villages, the whole town becomes an Advent Calendar. Each evening beginning on the first of December, a different citizen hosts the day’s Advent party by decorating and opening one of the ground-floor windows of their home. Hot drinks and treats are served through the window to their friends and neighbors, carols are sung, and much fun is had by all. The next night, it is someone else’s turn to host.
Doesn’t that sound like a great way to bring a neighborhood together?
I love that so many of these traditions were brought to this country by immigrants brave enough to strike out for the New World, bringing the best of the Old World with them as they traveled.
Questions for you:
- Do you have any Christmas Traditions based upon your family’s origins?
- Do you have a special Christmas recipe that you only bring out during the holidays?
- Do you use an Advent Calendar?
Answer any or all of these questions in the comments to be entered to win a copy of A Child’s Christmas Wish.
A Baby for Christmas The only Christmas gift Oscar Rabb’s four-year-old daughter prays for is one the widower can’t provide: a baby sibling. And when his neighbor’s house burns down, he’s willing to open his home to pregnant and widowed Kate Amaker and her in-laws—but not his heart. Even if his little girl’s convinced Kate’s unborn child is the answer to her wish.
Kate quickly sees the generous but aloof Oscar has little interest in growing closer to his houseguests. Still, she intends to make the coming Christmas a season to remember for his daughter. And as Oscar starts to open up to her, Kate can’t help picturing just how wonderful the holidays—and a future together—might be.
About the author:
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, http://www.ericavetsch.com where you can learn about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at http://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!