Christmas Decorating: Mom’s Influence – The Advent Calendar

Sometime before I had kids – I’m thinking late 1970s, I was visiting my parents and mom was making an Advent calendar that she copied from a friend. She bought enough of everything ahead of time so I could make one too. We worked on our calendars at her kitchen table – soon covered with felt, scissors, glue, sequins, thread, paper, pencils, sharpies, burlap and with her sewing machine nearby.

I still have the instructions that I wrote from her copy.

Advent Calendar instructions 1Advent Calendar instructions 2Advent Calendar instructions 3Advent Calendar instructions 4

And the pattens for the ornaments and tree.

I didn’t finish all of the ornaments during my visit, so it was up to me to finish on my own. I didn’t understand a few of the ornaments – like the owl, for instance. A Christmas owl? What’s that about? I understand the imagery of the fish – but this one is maybe a little too “fishy” for the Christian connotation…

And how about the pig?

In the creative comfort of my own home, I didn’t always use the designs provided. I got the designs for the doll and the teddy bear from coloring books.

DSCN3311 - Version 2I don’t know if you noticed, but I never finished the Advent calendar. See that pocket with the number 1 on it? It’s empty. Over 30 years later and I still have one ornament left to make. Typical.

Here is a look at our almost fully decorated Advent calendar.

The missing ornament is supposed to be a reindeer, but I didn’t like the one in the pattern. As I was preparing this post, I found several ideas I had considered for the last ornament. Living in Texas, these included an armadillo and a pair of cowboy boots. Hey – unless you can explain the owl, I think the armadillo and boots are just as relevant. Besides, my husband used to collect armadillos, so it would have had meaning for us at the time.

That armadillo is traced from one of my husband’s signature armadillo doodles. He drew the cowboy Santa too. 🙂

Leave a comment and suggest what I should make as the final ornament.

Or should I just leave it as it is – a testimony to imperfection?

When we only had one child, she got to put each ornament on the tree to count down the days to Christmas, but with the birth of two siblings, it was necessary to evenly divide the task – which did not divide evenly among three children since there were only 23 ornaments. These days I hang the calendar on the pantry door in the kitchen and I alone have the privilege of counting down the days on our Advent calendar.

Thanks, Mom!

Mom also made the tree skirt that we use under our tree every year. You can read about it (and get the directions) here: Christmas Decorating – Mom’s Influence: The Tree Skirt.

Sepia Saturday – And Now Your Favorite Flying Cowboy …

Could it be? Sky King? The flying cowboy?

Morales, Martin Mooney Abt 2-3, cowboy with lasso and sheep cropped

Looks like he has this case tied up. That wooly bandit was up to no good, but his criminal ways have been put to an end!

Well, okay … it’s not really Sky King since Sky King didn’t hit the airwaves until 1946 and this photo was taken about 1930. But maybe, just maybe, the radio and television shows were based on the childhood exploits of my father-in-law, Martin Morales. Here’s a day in his life – his 2nd birthday seems like a good guess to me.

Martin was a busy cowboy that day. He arrived in a blur in his speedy airplane.

Morales, Martin Mooney Abt 2-3, cowboy in airplane

His cowgirl cousin met him at the ranch. They were ready for anything.
Morales, Martin Mooney Abt 2-3, cowboy and ?First there were chores to do out in the pasture.
Morales, Martin Mooney Abt 2-3, cowboy cutting grass 2

The horses needed to be lassoed and tended to.Morales, Martin Mooney Abt 2-3, cowboy with ponyWait! Who is this bad guy and what kind of mischief is he up to?
Morales, Martin Mooney Abt 2-3, cowboy and ? with sheep“I’ve got him covered. Call the sheriff!”
Morales, Martin Mooney Abt 2-3, cowboy with lasso and sheep croppedLet’s head into town for some sarsaparilla. I could use a stiff drink!
Morales, Martin Mooney Abt 2-3, cowboy and ? on back of car

sepia sat 6 dec 2014Golly, Friends, head on over to Sepia Saturday and see what the other kids are up to today!

Fellows and girls, you can watch an episode of Sky King right here!




Another New Page – Ancestor Signatures

scan0044I think this is the last Page I’ll add for a while. I can’t think of any more blog organization to do instead of writing or getting ready for Christmas. 🙂

The page is just for fun – a place to collect the signatures of my ancestors. I’m starting with just two, but there will be more to come. Many more, I hope! Ancestor Signatures

In the meantime, I reread a post I did about my grandmother’s handwriting and how it changed over the years. It made me miss her. I hope you will read it if you missed it the first time around.

Eveline’s Changing Penmanship