anna brones

writer + artist

Posts Tagged ‘Advent

24 Days of Making, Doing, and Being Digital Advent Calendar: Sign Up for the 2021 Edition

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I am doing my annual digital Advent calendar 24 Days of Making, Doing, and Being again this year, and now is the time to sign up.

This marks my fifth year of creating this calendar, which certainly feels worth celebrating. The format will be the same as usual: a daily email with a written post and artwork, as well as a few prompts, projects, and recipes scattered throughout.

I originally started this whole endeavor with the inspiration of the Advent calendar that I had growing up: a beautiful handwoven one made by by mother, each day made to hold a small slip of paper. My parents would write a new prompt on a slip every day, so that I would read it when I woke up in the morning. It was the source of a lot of magic for me in my younger years (and even now—it gets hung up every year to this day).

The goal with this Advent calendar is always to create a little magic every day during the month of December, so that’s it’s not just a countdown but an everyday celebration. It’s a focus on slowing down, finding balance and contentedness.

It originally began as an antidote to the consumer frenzy that tends to define this season, as a way to challenge people to make space for small moments of magic throughout the month. Writing the calendar last year in the midst of a dark winter defined by a global pandemic, I was reminded of how it was also an antidote for uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness, and weariness. It feels like we need a little bit of all of the above this year too.

I aim for this calendar to be a source of light, a source of joy, a source of thought. It’s a way to settle into the darker days, to get cozy, to slow down.

We need daily reminders to keep us present, to keep us breathing, to keep us existing, to keep us hoping. We need to remember the things for which we are grateful. We can all benefit from creating a little extra magic, both in our brighter moments and our darker ones. 

$5 will get you access to the entire digital Advent calendar. If you are a Patreon supporter of mine, you will get a subscription to the digital edition of the calendar for free. There is also a print edition of the calendar. I do this in a small print run, so if you want one be sure to snag one before they are sold out (buying one includes a subscription to the digital edition).

The daily email will include artwork, prompts, recipes, etc. all with the intention of inspiring presence, creativity, and gratitude, and you will be able to access the archives during the month too (because I know keeping up with a daily email can be difficult). 

Can you gift the calendar to someone else? Of course! Just be sure to include their email address when you order so that I know who to send it to.

I hope that you consider signing up.

Sign Up for 24 Days of Making, Doing, and Being Digital Advent Calendar (+ Preorder a Limited Edition Print Calendar)

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I am doing my annual digital Advent calendar 24 Days of Making, Doing, and Being again this year, and now is the time to sign up!

The goal with this Advent calendar is always to create a little magic every day during the month of December, so that’s it’s not just a countdown but an everyday celebration. It’s a focus on slowing down, finding balance and contentedness.

While in the past, the calendar was intended as an antidote to the consumer frenzy that has come to define the season, this year I think we need an antidote for something different. We need an antidote for uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness, and the weariness that 2020 has left us feeling. Fortunately, the antidote is essentially the same, and I think that putting out this year’s Advent calendar feels more important than ever.

We need daily reminders to keep us present, to keep us breathing, to keep us existing, to keep us hoping. We need to remember the things for which we are grateful. We need to be challenged to create a little extra magic in what has felt like a dark and heavy 12 months. If there ever was a year where we needed a bit of seasonal magic to cheer us up, it certainly seems like it’s this one.

With that in mind, this year I am doing the digital version again, but I also made a limited edition print Advent calendar. There’s a daily card with a prompt (featuring versions of some of my favorite prompts from the last few years), something that allows you to just be in analog mode and create some moments of stillness and presence throughout the month. Anyone who buys one get signed up for the digital version as well. I will be sending them out next week, and if you preorder one now you get free shipping.

$5 will get you access to the entire digital Advent calendar. If you are a Patreon supporter of mine, you will get a subscription to the digital edition of the calendar for free.

I hope that you consider signing up!

24 Days of Making, Doing and Being: A Digital Advent Calendar

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The month of December has a tendency to pass in a flurry, the main focus concentrated on Christmas Day. The other days pass in anticipation, and often, a stress inducing countdown. December has become an extension of our overbooked, over-planned, over-digitized lives; a month where chaos and stress levels collide.

It’s cliché to say that we’ve forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, that today, Christmas is an over-commercialized affair that’s about the procurement of things rather than generosity, caring and celebrating.

Given this frenzy, it’s no surprise that Christmas advertising and marketing works; it sells a cozy, slow image that we’re all craving. Families in pajama sets sitting by the fire smiling at each other (if only you invested in those pajamas, your family would be happy too). A cup of tea on the windowsill overlooking a snowy morning (make sure to buy this particular brand on tea, or your mornings won’t look like this). A couple on a winter walk through the woods (trust us, you can’t go on one of these walks without buying these boots).

Here’s the secret to that kind of living: you can’t buy your way to that feeling, you have to create it yourself.

For me, part of creating that seasonal magic has come in the form of an advent calendar. Growing up, every December meant the enjoyment of an advent calendar. There would always be more than one. Often, a beautifully illustrated one sent from relatives in Sweden, and the other one was an advent calendar that my mother had woven, each day made to hold a small slip of paper. My parents would write a note every night, so that it was the first thing I saw when I woke up the next morning. The note might say something fun that we would do that day (“build a gingerbread house”) or just be a reminder to enjoy the season (“curl up with a book and a cup of tea”). The advent wasn’t a countdown to Christmas, it was a way of making every day during the month of December special.

I have had that advent calendar hanging on the wall every single December since I can remember. Today, it’s a link to the past, an object that carries a lot of magical childhood memories. But it’s also a reminder of the present, the prompt to focus on the now and create a little magic every day during the holiday season.

This is a time of year focused on consumption. It’s a time of year that can be stressful. It’s a time of year that’s frantic. The U.S. version of my book Live Lagom comes out at the end of December, and I have been thinking a lot about how lagom applies to the holidays. Certainly, it means a little indulgence, in the form of a plethora of holiday cookies and glögg, Swedish mulled wine. But it also means balance. It means slowing down, spending time with family, taking winter walks. All the things that we often tell ourselves we will do, but never make the time for.

So this year, I’m putting together a digital advent calendar that’s focused on slowing down, creating and experiencing rather than consuming. The advent calendar will be in newsletter format, sent out every morning. It will include everything from holiday recipes to creative prompts, something new every day. You’re sure to find a little Scandinavian inspiration as well. The goal with this advent calendar is to help you create a little magic every day during the month of December, but also focus on slowing down, finding balance, breathing.

It all kicks off on Friday, December 1, 2017, so if you want to receive the advent calendar, be sure to sign up for my newsletter.

Update: I am doing this advent calendar again for 2018, so be sure to sign up!

 

Written by Anna Brones

November 29, 2017 at 11:21

Pepparkakor: Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

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Love collaborating with Johanna of Kokblog on recipes. Her illustrations provide plenty of inspiration.

I grew up, every December, carefully rolling out gingerbread dough. In the early years, it was an awkward dance of pushing and pulling a rolling pin about half my size. Flour tended to go everywhere, and I would end up grinning with dough pieces stuck all over me. Yet my mother simply left me to it, and if I rolled too hard and the dough got stuck to the countertop, I was forced to find a solution myself.

Dust with flour, roll, pull up dough, flip over and repeat until just the right thickness to slice into with a Swedish cookie cutter. These cookie cutters were carefully kept in a large tin – which had at one point in the early 80s held Danish butter cookies certainly purchased at duty free on one of her connecting stops in Copenhagen. Hearts, pigs, Christmas gnomes, the classic gingerbread couple; I loved, and still love, sorting through and picking out my favorites. Feeling lazy? There were always theFranska Pepparkakor to make, a much simpler process of rolling out a log and slicing the cookies. In fact, if Swedish Jul for Dummies were a book, this recipe would be in it.

Full article + recipes here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 8, 2011 at 14:11

Sundays in December…

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… are for Advent. Swedish style.

More over on Inspirational Mittemellan, including my favorite Christmas recipe.

Written by Anna Brones

December 5, 2010 at 13:19

Posted in Bike Love, Food + Recipes

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