I love the Christmas traditions of my Anglican childhood and in particular the tradition of advent. The time of anticipation, waiting expectantly for the excitement of Christmas day. I love that these traditions extend the christmas season, I love that they create a focus and a frame for the day itself, and I love remembering previous Advents through them.
This year I have been so hung up about advent. I have searched the city and others for an advent calendar for my girls. But not just any advent calendar, one that fits with the ones I used to have as a child; an advent calendar with a picture of Joseph and Mary and Jesus; one with verses for each daily reveal as well as the little picture. None to be had (thanks for scouring HK dad). Then I toyed with the idea of making my own advent calendar etsy/pintrest style – but couldn’t for the life of me find my “inner Martha Stewart“.
Finally a gracious friend called and said she had found an advent calendar and bought one for me. And you know what when I got it, I looked at it and thought, “no that’s not right, it’s covered in pictures of Santa Claus! How can I teach my girls about the true meaning of Christmas with this advent calendar?”
I toyed with not even using it, and it was only because I thought my friend might ask, or come to my house and not see it in use, that I did (sorry K!). But you know the first picture is of a crown, and the second of a gift, the third of a boat (random) and the fourth of an angel. So we have opened the calendar as a family and talked to our girls about why we give gifts at christmas and of the gift God gave us; we have talked to them about the angels in the story (there’s a few). We have talked to them about the king. (Any ideas on the boat will be appreciated!)
And as we open the pictures on this tree, slowly the santas are disappearing and being replaced by the true story of Christmas. (Thanks K!)