Virtual Advent Tour 2010

by Julia Smith

Last month I posted about a blog event called Blog Blast For Peace, in which I've taken part for the past several years.

Just in time for my Popculturedivas December post is another blog event in which I participate every year:

The Virtual Advent Tour

Kailana @ The Written World and Marg @ The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader began this event five years ago and it's become one of the highlights of my Christmas season.

Here's how the blog tour began:

The Virtual Advent tour first started when we pondered why should the kids get all the fun of opening a box on the advent calendar and finding a treat in there, and how could we have some blogging fun with a similar concept? So the Virtual Advent tour was born. - Kailana and Marg

I've taken part in quite a few blog events over the years. I get to discover new blogs, while new-to-me bloggers find my little piece of the blogosphere and new friendships are born. When I stumble upon one of these events, it's because I'm interested in the subject matter, which guarantees that I will meet other kindred spirits.

When you discover an event and wonder whether or not you should take part, my advice is - take the leap. I have always found new blog friends through these events, often from all over the world.

The idea behind the Virtual Advent Tour is to share the Christmas experience with one another. Bloggers write about their family's traditions, favorite films, favorite recipes, favorite celebrations, favorite songs, stories, memories.

For my first post two years ago, I wrote about the Halifax, Nova Scotia Christmas tradition known as Christmas Daddies. This is a telethon that raises money for families facing financial hardship over the holidays, and provides a Christmas meal and gifts for the kids of families in need. In an area of the world that has often been economically depressed, Christmas Daddies is often the only way some kids will get a visit from Santa.

I also wrote about the Christmas tradition between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Boston, Massachusetts, stretching back thirty years, in memory of a kindness that is nearly a century old.

The Boston Christmas tree is donated every year by the Province of Nova Scotia in grateful thanks for the emergency aid sent to our city in the wake of the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

On the day of the blast - which took 2000 lives and wounded 9000 others - a Boston relief train set out with medical staff and supplies, plus food and other relief workers to spell off the exhausted Nova Scotians. It rolled into the remains of Halifax the next day, a feat never forgotten by the people of Nova Scotia. Our offer of a Christmas tree remains heartfelt, ninety years later.

CLICK HERE to read my Virtual Advent Tour 2008 blog post

Last year I wrote about my lifelong relationship to The Nutcracker ballet.

Always a ballet fanatic, one of my most treasured Christmas presents EVER was this double-album Nutcracker score, which was given to my sister and me when we were in elementary school. Not a Nutcracker suite with the Sugar Plum Fairy / Waltz of the Flowers / Russian dance compilation for us - no. My mom knew we were hardcore ballet freaks, even then.

This was the entire ballet score, every part of it. How I remember sitting cross-legged beside the colored glow of the Christmas tree lights, listening to Tchaikovsky's magnificent score while gazing at this intricate album cover.


Imagine the joy in my heart when I actually got a job working as an usher at the theatre where the National Ballet of Canada performed. I saw approximately seventy performances of The Nutcracker over the years. I never tired of it, and I never will.

CLICK HERE to read my Virtual Advent Tour 2009 post

My Virtual Advent Tour post goes up on Dec. 14th over at my blog, A Piece of My Mind. Please join me as I write about my family's Christmas Eve tradition of dressing formally in celebration of the night that is most precious to us.

We love the dressing up part because it's not something we do every day. We get to be glamorous and elegant and gorgeous.

Have you ever taken part in a blog event? Have you ever hosted one?


  1. Julia - you are such a gifted blogger! No wonder you make friends all over the world doing this. I love the cover of the Nutcracker score. I can picture you, as a child, gazing at it while listening to the music. I am a huge Tchaikovsky fan, and I adore the Nutcracker score.

    Wishing you a magical holiday season!

  2. I really enjoyed your post, Julia and hope you and your family have a magical Christmas!

  3. Julia,
    Your blogs never fail to snag my interest and this one is no exception. Hope you have a great Christmas.

  4. I agree with Pamela, you are such a gifted blogger!

    Loved reading about the shared traditions and WOW about the Boston Tree story. Gave me chills.

    Hope you have an incredible magical holiday season!!

  5. Ilove the Advent blog concept. You are a great blogger to participate and make so many new friends. What a great and heartwarming thing this is. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  6. Julia, i always love your posts - you bring such a special spirit to our blog - especially at this time of year. What lovely traditions and your involvement in the blog-o-sphere is a bright light to us all.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!


  7. really an eye opener for me.

    - Robson


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