As holiday decorations migrate from pumpkins to snowmen, we’ve seen a variety of trimmings lining the shelves at local stores. As families prepare for their holiday traditions, perhaps you have noticed the variety of Advent calendars that are out there. Maybe you have even been invited to a Ladies Advent Tea event at church and wondered what exactly Advent is. If that is the case, read on to find out more.
Like its name suggests, the Advent calendar is named for Advent, which is the season that starts the liturgical year in Western Christianity. It lasts for a total of four weeks, starting on the fourth Sunday before Christmas for most of the denominations that recognize the season. Given its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that Advent is meant to be spent in preparation for Christmas.
However, it is important to remember that the Advent calendar focuses more on the spirit of the season than other concerns. For example, while there are Advent calendars that start on the same date as Advent, most choose to start on December 1 instead because of the increased convenience. As a result, most Advent calendars cover the 24 days between the start of December and Christmas Day.
Based on the earliest designs that debuted at the start of the 20th century, modern Advent calendars have 24 windows that can be opened to reveal something interesting with the passage of each brand new day. Common examples include but are not limited to Bible verses, seasonal images, and even parts of stories. Some even have small candies and gifts, which make Advent calendars a wonderful surprise even for people with little interest in the religious meaning of the season.
However, for people who are interested, Advent calendars are a great way of reminding them about the importance of Christmas as well as a great way of building anticipation. In other words, it is something that can be used to make an already great holiday that much greater.
Does your family use an Advent calendar? What other holiday traditions do you observe Around TowneLake? Please share with us!