On this day that's my birthday, my True Love gave to me:
- A display made of coloured, corrugated cardboard with the digits "29" standing on a round base, and a lit candle
- 29 muffins, roughly half each raspberry-and-yoghurt and banana-and-hazelnut, to share with my family when they come by this afternoon
- Two advent calendars, one with the regular small figures and one with bigger figures inside
- Knitted, woolen bed-socks
- A flannel shirt from Lands' End
- And a partridge in a pear tree well, no, not really
I also got two birthday cards (from my ward's Elders' Quorum and from the sister missionaries), and Elaine had sent me a generous gift certificate for Amazon.de yesterday.
I was happiest about the bed-socks. Stella only recently learned to knit, and these are the first ever socks she's completed. (She started two for herself but hasn't finished them yet, and the first heel she knit for practice became part of a snake that lies in front of our window to stop the draft coming in.)
So I was touched that she had made them for me; my previous bed-socks, bless their soles, have served me well for many years but are starting to fall apart, though they've been darned several times. Sister Sparr from Pinneberg Ward hat knid them for me for my mission, so they must be about eight years old now. Stella had never made complete socks before, and she got them ready for me for my birthday, and they seem to have turned out very well indeed. A bit large, but that's not so bad since they don't have to fit into any shoes. Now I'll have to try them out to see whether they keep my feet warm and don't itch.
They're a common thing in Germany: cardboard boxes with little doors numbered 1 to 24 (since most Germans celebrate Christmas with gift-giving on the evening of the 24th), which little children use to count down the days until Christmas. They mostly have little chocolate figures, generally around 1½×1 cm and perhaps 5 mm thick, but I've also seen calendars with Kinder Surprise eggs or with little Lego figures.
However, this one has little hollow chocolate figures that are larger than the little things you usually find. Stella had found this calendar several years ago in the one shop that seems to carry it and I really liked it. So I was glad that she had got it for me again this year.