Yes, I admit it! I did get gingerbread cookies and “Spekulatius” (gingery almond cookies) way too early. October 1st, to be exact. It was a rainy day and it hit me like a hammer that I wanted to have gingerbread and Spekulatius RIGHT THEN. With a cup of Earl Grey or Rooibush tea. So, weak as I was, I headed to my favourite discount grocery store right away and stocked up on pre-Christmas time delicacies.

And now, the first advent is here again. At first, I had planned to skip the baking this year. Since I have plenty of store-bought Christmas style cookies, stollen and gingerbread at home. But then, suddenly, one week ago, the urge to at least bake simple butter cookies hit me. So, I got the missing ingredients and did some baking on Saturday. May I say, they turned out quite well? I had to try at least one freshly baked cookie, of course. But the rest will keep for advent Sundays.

My other preparations for advent? Redecorating, of course. With red, green and dark blue dominating. Red and green pillow cases, red and dark blue throws, red candles, my advent wreath, dark green and red bed linens, towels and table runners. Some knick-knacks, fir branches and my childhood advent calendar I filled myself. Well, not much different to the past two years. And still, I’m looking forward to these four weeks very much. Tea and cookies on advent Sunday afternoons, lighting the advent candle and listening to Christmas songs. Just like we did at home when I was a child. And even though adventand advent Sundays won’t be much different than the rest of the year, I enjoy the peace and quiet, not having to rush around from one Christmas party to another, stress myself out with gift shopping (gift buying and sending is already done) or – horrors of all horrors – having to bake and cook and prepare everything for hordes of relatives falling in. 

How are the rising costs and especially energy costsinfluencing my advent? Well, actually not all toomuch compared to previous winters. However, I’m avoiding heating even more than usual and my beloved soaks in the bathtub are reduced to once or every other week, quick showers just have to do, even though they are less enjoyable than my soaks. I neither have electric Christmas decoration nor tree lights, so … no changes there. And since my Christmas market visits are close to non-existent – not a big fan of “cheap” but expensive mulled wine – once with my colleagues, once with a friend holding onto one non-alcoholic hot punch for the entire evening – it won’t really affect me either. So, all in all, it’s kind of a month like any other and I really, really consider myself lucky that I only have to take care of myself and my beloved cat (who is a bit picky when it comes to his food and has to be spoilt with tuna occasionally), being able to live frugally if I have to. Doing what probably everyone is doing in those uncertain times: save as much money as possible. 

On these less happy thoughts and worries concerning the coming winter and economy, wondering what the future will bring, I nevertheless wish all of you a wonderful advent time. Try to enjoy it as much as possible, sometimes it’s the little things that count. Spending time with loved ones, even though it might just be a phone call, a little spoiling by hot chocolate and a good book or a bath soak, whatever gives you a little pleasure and make you forget … all the best!!!


6 thoughts on “FIRST ADVENT

  1. So true. I am actually starting to plan for the holiday month, and thinking of budgeting it, while in previous years it is a month of modest indulgence. And now I am heading to Google to see what “stollen” and “advent” mean since I’ve never seen these two words being used before. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t even know if my renovations on my house will be ready for Christmas! I am sans oven so there is no baking going on for now. I am trying to get myself into the holiday spirit… or will starting on December 1st. I’m not the type to get too ahead… Those cookies look mighty fine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh … good luck with your renovations! First Advent is really early this year and Christmas still seems far away. But I try to use any special occasion as a reason to “celebrate”. Like preparing a nice breakfast with the good china on my first vacation day, tea time with cookies and Christmas carols on advent Sundays, … However, as soon as the new year starts I can’t wait to get rid of all the red and green and Christmas decoration and start using spring colours again! Happy advent time with some relaxing moments despite all the renovation work!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, it’s really nearing the end (finally!) I should call it a remodel as I ripped everything else and rebuilt.
        I love using the fancy plates and making a celebration of everything. I promise you, by January 3rd, the Christmas decorations are gone. But the snow will be far from so no bother using Spring colours, yet!

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      2. Snow!!! Oh how I miss it! No snow in these parts of Germany … and if, well, then it’s chaos due to a few centimeters, even though it usually doesn’t survive the day 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

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