Sunday is the first day of Advent, and Kerry Trotter wants to do more than just go through the saccharine motions of observing tradition with her family. So she looked to the wreath, and was pleasantly surprised at the rich symbolism it bears.
While grocery shopping recently, I impulse purchased an Advent calendar for my 2-year-old daughter. It’s the kind with waxy chocolate nuggets hidden behind numbered cardboard doors — doors that will soon be mangled and torn asunder by my sweet girl’s eager, chubby fingers. Since this is the first Christmas that she really knows what’s going on, I’m pulling out all the stops. And if a $3.99 sugar-filled accessory is “all the stops,” consider them pulled.
I stood in the aisle of the store admiring my soon-to-be purchase, imagining her excitement over the daily ritual. I traced my finger over each number counting down from 25 until Christmas. I admired the trimmings adorning the tree in this Victorian-era illustrated tableau. I gazed upon the cherub-faced children seated at the foot of Santa Claus. I couldn’t wait to see my daughter’s face when I brought it home.
Then my little Word on Fire internal employee alarm went off. Wait, a second — Santa Claus?Advent Calendar?
I’m no theologian, but something didn’t add up. And Father Steve would have my head if I left well enough alone.
Admittedly, prior to my tenure here at Word on Fire, Advent for rubes like me started on December 1, ended December 25, and had three-plus weeks of chocolate surprises in between. Apparently, the makers of this calendar see it similarly...