What is a Living Advent Calendar? The details…

What is it?

Living Advent Calendars are a community project that happen at Christmas time, originating in Sweden. As far as we know whilst there are a few throughout the UK, this will be the first in Somerset – unless you know differently?

The idea is that we get volunteers from 24 homes in the Wedmore community to decorate and illuminate a window or windows with festive decoration(s) and lights in December. One new window is ‘opened’ each day from the 1st to the 24th December and remains illuminated from 6.30pm from its day of opening until 12th night (6th January). The goal of the project is just to have fun and create a nice way of bringing the community together.

How does it work?

  1. Come along to the Launch event on 5th September 2019 at 6:30pm in St Mary’s Church
  2. Then, pick an available date in the Advent calendar and volunteer.
  3. We will create a map of which houses will reveal their windows on which days and share the map within Wedmore and the local community, so that everyone can enjoy taking a tour of the decorated houses.
  4. Before you reveal your window, we invite you to display a poster in your window so people know when to look out for your window display; and give you some maps to share with your friends, family and neighbours.

What’s involved if I volunteer?

The main thing is that you decorate your window and then reveal it on your scheduled day in Advent at precisely 6:30pm.

So….. if you choose 4th December then that’s your reveal date : at 6.30pm, switch on your lights. Open your curtains / open the blind and hopefully outside there will be a crowd of people waiting to see your window.

If you can also remember to turn your window lights on during the rest of Advent from your reveal date at 6.30pm or earlier ( ideally put it on a timer to come on automatically) that will be great !

If you go away or forget – of course it’s not the end of the world but if you can it will be much appreciated as maybe people will not be able to make the date of your reveal so can take a look on another date afterwards.

Beyond that, it’s up to you how much effort you want to make.

On your chosen day you could just do a simple switch-on of your lights, reveal your window and enjoy it with whoever happens to be passing by. It’s your night so you may want to invite some friends, family and neighbours for the occasion; or think even bigger – it’s entirely up to you. We are told in some areas people just switch on. Some enter into the Christmas spirit and often do mince pies and even mulled wine on the doorstep, but there is no pressure to do this and it’s completely fine to keep it low key or not. We simply ask that you do your switch-on at 6:30pm so it’s easy for everyone to remember, but otherwise you can organise your own event as you like.

What kind of decoration do I need to do?

It’s your night so it’s up to you. Let your creative juices run free !

Please remember this is Christmas and not a competition and you can do any kind of festive decoration.

  • Homemade is great
  • Childrens fun is perfect
  • Artistic ideas are welcome
  • Themes are terrific

The only rule is that it needs to be centered around a window so that it can be revealed / switched on – on your night and every night until 6th January.

If you need inspiration then have a look at our truly inspirational 2018 Living Advent Calendar windows from around Wedmore.  We’re collecting ideas for inspiration on our facebook group so please share with us….. https://www.facebook.com/groups/WedmoreLivingAdventCalendar

Your questions answered…. We hope !

Will I end up with hordes of people at my house?
We are told it varies on different days – a little weather dependent too in December we would think ! But we think you may expect between half-a-dozen and twenty or so people coming to a switch-on depending if you invite family and friends too.

The idea is that each volunteer takes the lead on inviting their friends, family and whoever else they would like to come to their own ‘switch on’ event. It’s your night but we will also do some promotion of the Advent Calendar overall too (see below). We suggest that for your individual evening you can get the word out to as many or as few people as you choose. If you volunteer, we hope you’d also welcome neighbours and local people who would like to enjoy your decorations and get into the festive spirit together.

How will it be promoted?
We’re aiming to bring together the community of Wedmore, so hosting a window is restricted to homes in the village of Wedmore but visitors from across the Isle of Wedmore and beyond are always welcome to appreciate your work.

We will produce a map and posters to share the map of the Wedmore Living Advent Calendar in the local area. We will also have a Website, Twitter Feed and a Facebook group so we can share photos, updates and help people connect with each other.

How do I take part?
If you’d like to volunteer to decorate a window, or if you’re interested in collaborating on the project come along on 5th September at 6:30pm

Inviting your neighbours to enjoy your Christmas lights doesn’t count as a particularly daredevil act, but just to say that volunteer householders will take responsibility for taking any sensible precautions for safety and security.

We suggest, for example, that if you do want to provide hospitality, you do it on the doorstep (rather than inside your house) so that in the worst case scenario you simply end up running out of mince pies and have a few people spilling onto the pavement. We suggest that you don’t invite people in your home unless of course they are known to you.