Garden Gnome Phinnaeus (and friend) comes indoors to guard the Advent Bowl.

It’s that time of year again. Time to drop kick myself into the holiday spirit with Advent Bowl 2022!


Advent Bowl is my own invention, launched in December 2019 to help me survive my first holiday season as a widow. This would have been a challenge no matter when Bruce had died. It didn’t help that he passed at 11:55 PM on December 23, 2018. So. . .


You invented a game.


And you were there, Lily! It kept me on-task enough to realize I needed to get a Christmas gift for you as well as for the rest of the family. Sorry we don’t use the nail polish very often.


I’ll talk to you about that when you draw number six, Spa Activity.

Yesterday you pulled “Gather ingredients for chocolate Babka.” When are we going to make that?


Probably the weekend after this, 9, since the brioche dough has to chill at least half a day. On Sunday our services are required at the Kirkman House Museum Christmas Tea and Fashion Show. I’ll be wearing a flowy full-length dress from the 1930s, suitable for a posh garden party.


Back to Advent Bowl 2022! The official name is “21 for 2022” because I was travelng the first three days of December and had to shorten the number of celebratory days. The “activities” fall in the holiday, charitable and self-care categories. The first draw was #3, “Nog with brandy!” and boy did I need it!

Advent Bowl cheer! Brandy from Walla Walla’s own DW Distilling


Next, #16 “Read the Caroling chapter from Wind in the Willows to Hoosegow,” then “Study the stars tonight.” Though it was overcast, I did read enough of the Winter section of Chet Raymo’s An Intimate Look at the Night Sky ( © 2001) to learn that Orion, the rock star of winter constellations, is a good place to practice seeing the colors of its red giant star, Betelgeuse, and blue hot Rigel. When I looked outside later, Orion and these two notable stars had obligingly risen above the cloud line for viewing.

Advent Bowl: always better with books!


The next day we came down to earth with “Write a letter to someone you haven’t been in touch with for a while”- -yes, a hand-written letter, in an envelope with a stamp!


Which brings us up to Babka. Five days down, sixteen to go! (Time lag as this blog, posted on Friday, was written on Thursday.) Here’s the recipe I’ll use in a few days, when time allows:

I hope anyone who needs it feels free to make their own Advent Bowl. Though it seems the days are flying by, there are still quite a few of them before Christmas or whatever winter holiday(s) you are waiting for.


Speaking of the passage of time, don’t forget to enter the “Crisis in Big-G City” cover art contest! Send your best guess for which two character that appear in book three, “Beyond Big-G City” ( © 2020) will star on the cover of book four! Everyone is eligible to enter- -friends and family, don’t be shy! The entries will be transcribed to slips of paper, wadded up into individual balls, and tossed onto the living room carpet for selection by Hoosegow Matley. The winning entry will receive signed copies of books one through three! Entries accepted through midnight (Pacific Time) December 15, 2022.

Advent Bowl extra: You will be judged, by Hoosegow Matley!

Whatever comes up in the next two weeks, whatever holiday you’re waiting for, dive in now and enjoy the holiday season!


Pin It on Pinterest