The Vale Avenue (Patcham) Advent Calendar
Using real windows in a local community campaign to mark the Christmas countdown can harness huge amounts of goodwill. This is the fourth year the Vale Avenue advent calendar has been running and today I have decorated my window number 10.
With pride and festive spirit in our hearts, the residents of Vale Avenue, have once again turned the road into something that, true, would not give Oxford Street a run for its money, but still holds the gaze, and brings smiles from onlookers. It is wonderful, truly wonderful. The Vale Avenue Advent Calendar makes us feel connected to our neighbours. We feel that most elusive of things: a sense of community.
Organising a calendar may seem daunting. Even if a community can’t find 24 participants, it shouldn’t be deterred, The first year there was only a handful of us taking part and I remember volunteering 3 of my windows to make up the numbers. This year the windows were allocated on a first come basis and there was a race to get your number on the list. It would be easy to say, ‘we have failed if we haven’t got 24 windows.’ That’s not the way to look at it. Take a playful spirit to it, know you can’t fail. Christmas is happening anyway. It’s about taking something that is happening and bringing out the loveliness of it to the fullest extent.
This is the fourth year of our calendar and I think everyone feels proud when they reveal their windows and, it is to be hoped, more connected, to others and themselves.