Edinburgh Museum launches online countdown to Christmas

Museum curator Lyn Wall shows Ted Pearce age four what a traditional advent calendar looks like

Museum curator Lyn Wall shows Ted Pearce age four what a traditional advent calendar looks like

Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood has created the ultimate advent calendar for big kids – a digital door a day back in time to childhood winters.

The High Street Museum has teamed up with 26 writers and local charity It’s Good 2 Give to bring treasures from the City of Edinburgh Council’s collection to life through stories.

Online from December 1 until Boxing Day, the countdown to Christmas will reveal pictures of nostalgic objects which are on display in the Museum such as Christmas angel tree-toppers (pictured), a traditional wooden sledge and stocking filler favourites like marbles and spinning tops.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture Convener at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The digital advent calendar celebrates the Museum’s winter exhibition with 26 writers. Each writer was given a festive object from the collection and a simple instruction – to write 62 words about how the item stirs their own memories and feelings about Christmas and winter. Some of the stories they have written are fact and the others fiction but all of them celebrate the nostalgia of Christmas time and winters as a child.”

The Advent Calendar was launched by writers from the collective 26, so-called for the 26 letters of the alphabet, at an event in Edinburgh yesterday (26 November). It forms part of the free-to-visit 26 Children’s Winters exhibition, open until 31 March 2016. The Calendar will go live on December 1 on the 26 Stories of Christmas website.

Author Sara Sheridan has been involved in the project throughout. She commented: “Edinburgh is awash with writing talent and, though all of the writers are part of the collective 26, they come from a variety of backgrounds, disciplines and career stages, from established novelists to screenwriters, copywriters and fledgling poets.

“What they have in common is that they have each been allocated only 62 words with which to capture the spirit of their object – that feeling of winter which is such a big part of Scottish life and childhood. What’s most surprising is how different the pieces turn out. The exhibition covers a broad and exciting response to over a century’s worth of objects, chosen by the curators at what is one of Edinburgh’s most loved museums.”

The exhibition has teamed up with local charity Its Good 2 Give to heighten awareness of the work they do with sick children in the East of Scotland. The online Advent Calendar will feature a donate button to raise money for the cause.

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