Have you noticed holiday decorations going up earlier than usual this year? I’ve never seen so many houses twinkling with brightly colored lights in November. Some people think November holiday decor is excessive, but this year calls for a little extra good cheer doesn’t it?
In my family, we like to integrate special traditions from around the world. Not only are these foods and celebrations fun, but they teach us about perspectives different from our own–and that’s a gift in itself. This year, I was curious about Swiss holiday traditions (I’ve been learning a lot about Switzerland lately through the Be Ready Explorers’ first adventure!).
While the Explorers breathed in the beauty of alpine gardens on a sunny Swiss spring day, I wondered what the country looks like come winter. It turns out, Switzerland offers just as much beauty and color in winter as it does in spring. Swiss holiday traditions include special cookies, spiced drinks, and festive markets.
One particular Swiss holiday activity caught my attention — small towns display Advent windows, recruiting 24 homes or businesses to help the community countdown to Christmas. Each location decorates one window with a festive scene–from stars to barnyard animals–and then hides its design beneath shutters. Each night during Advent, an appointed home or business opens its shutters, revealing the festive Advent scene.
The revelation of the window is an event unto itself, with music, snacks, and social time with friends and neighbors. You see why I’m excited about this now, don’t you? With a little adaptation, it’s a perfect socially distanced activity. The windows in a neighborhood can stay open all holiday season long, even serving as scavenger hunt material, like neighborhoods put on earlier in the pandemic.
A simple window can add a spark of magic to a different holiday season, cheering not only your own family but children and adults in countless other families that pass your home. We could all use a little more magic just about now, couldn’t we? I think I’ll sit down with my girls to create a design for our window. The Be Ready Explorers will be excited that we’re partaking in a little Swiss tradition and sharing in their fun of exploration!
If you design a window, please share to inspire our magical community by tagging me on Instagram (@kristintenneyblackwell) and using the hashtag #paratusadventwindow!
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