first thoughts about advent

Today I finished decorating my house for Christmas. I have a few items that were Christmas decorations in our house when I was a kid. One of those things is an Advent calendar. An Advent calendar is traditionally used to count the days of Advent. Not at our house. It was used to count the days until Santa came.

I look at that calendar now – red felt background with a Christmas tree cut-out and gold rick-rack on it, little numbered pockets on the bottom, which always held cellophane wrapped candy canes, and feel like I missed out on something.

Growing up in a denomination (yes, I think it is one) that typically didn’t celebrate Christmas as the birth of Christ – because, hey!, we don’t have proof that Jesus Christ was born on December 25! – I missed out on the real Christmas story.

I remember rolling my eyes in 9th grade when a teacher chastised someone for writing “Xmas”, saying “Don’t take the Christ out of Christmas!”, and thinking she was a real whack-o. Now I realize that she knew more about the Story than I did.

It wasn’t until I moved to Denver almost four years ago that I encountered Advent. I wish I could say that each year it changed me a little bit, but I’m not so sure. May it be so this year.

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