The online Advent Calendar developed by Montgomery teenager Catrin McDougal has been an outstanding success, with a different short film each day being viewed by hundreds of people, and positive comments received from across the world, as well as from local residents.
The content included readings, dances, festive music, short dramas, bell ringing, crafts and an explanation of Hanukkah; as well as contributions from the school in English and Welsh, and Montgomery's youngest contributors at pre-school, who danced and sang enthusiastically to Jingle Bells. The calendar finished with a message from Father Christmas himself behind door number 23, and Rev Alexis Smith gave a short version of the crib service behind door 24 for Christmas Eve.
Catrin said, “The advent calendar has been received really well by locals and people further away. My aim was always to bring the community together and – with the help of Adam Cusack, Claire Weston and everyone else who contributed – I think we have.”
She added, “This Christmas is going to be difficult for all of us, but being able to watch these videos hopefully will have brought a bit of joy to people’s lives.”
Anwen, living in Malta, said on the website, “I missed visiting this year, so it’s great to be able to share in a little bit of Monty cheer.” Elva Barros commented from Spain, “I love it! It is beautiful. How good that although we are going through difficult times we find time to do these beautiful things.”
With many people congratulating Catrin on her efforts on social media, Montgomery resident Doreen Eaton commented a few days in, “Such a great idea. Look forward to opening them every day, it really cheers me up. Well done all - roll on tomorrow!” Montgomery neighbour Rob Harper added, “This is a great idea and just what we all needed to get into the Christmas spirit. Thank goodness for our lovely community here in Montgomery, we are all extremely lucky to live in such an outstanding place.”
Cartrin says, “The videos are still available if you’ve missed any or not been able to watch them.”
Photo: Lesley and Mike Mills sent a specially recorded short video for Catrin’s Advent calendar