Christmas is about hope and mystery. Christmas is about excitement. So how did I bring those things into my children’s lives? One thing is the Advent Calendar filled with candy.
If the word [advent] is not capitalized and if we use it in a sentence, such as: “With the advent of the …” we can mean several things. Depending on what the “the” is. Does it mean the “finding or developing” of something? Could it be the arrival of “ … ”, or the “appearance” of something on the scene? If we are talking about the word with a capital “A” then it is “Advent”. Advent is meant “religiously” (especially at Christmas time), it means the “coming of a change;” the “coming of a foretold promise to be fulfilled;” and/or the weeks before the Birth of Christ. The Advent is about the Birth and waiting. It is about hope and mystery. Christmas is about “excitement”.
It also has meaning in the pagan practices we hold during this season. We use it as a count down of sorts for Santa coming to leave his presents under our tree. Think our Advent Calendar! Those things usually have ridiculously cheap candy, tiny toys, or some verse in them. I received them for a few years as a child when we lived in Germany and loved them. I don’t remember having any as I grew up. But when my children were in Kindergarten, we gave them one to start the countdown. You guessed it, I still give them one on Thanksgiving to take home with them. If they ever have children, then I will probably give them one too.
As my children have gotten older, I have looked for ones that could tell the Birth story, but sadly cannot find any in our area. I have been on the look out for one that they can have in their homes, to help with the story; I have not found any that look like they will last several decades.
Something else I like about them is what I call “my little secret” about the calendars. You can use the plastic candy backing to mold chocolate or butter! How pretty would that be to press a little herb butter into each one and set on your table? Or if you are gift giving, buy some of those tiny gift card holders made of metal and put a few squares of chocolate in them and set them on co-worker’s desks. (Wash them first, of course!)
I hope you are enjoying this season of Advent! And on a personal note. I am rethinking a lot of “things” we Christians are doing during this time. I will change a few things for my home and will try to bring more religious meaning into the holiday. After reading that verse in the Old Testament, I thought that I would feel more guilt with my tree up, but after spending time in prayer I have more comfort. One thing I know for sure is I will not be walking into a church that have ‘elves’ welcoming me. Elves, fairies, and witches are all the same, and have no place in a church that is suppose to be a “house of the Lord”.