Well, actually, it is. There are two forms of traditional countdowns, both falling under the heading “Advent Calendar.” The first counts down the days of the Christian Church’s Advent season, which this year began December 3. The second counts down the days of December until Christmas. Over the years we have often practiced both types in our home.
Not Ready for the Christmas Season
This year, I “missed out” on Thanksgiving. I came down with a bad cold that hit its peak Thanksgiving Day. It’s not that I couldn’t be grateful when I was sick. I try to practice gratitude daily regardless of calendar date. It’s just the holiday itself, and all the trimmings that I missed.
Of course, the annual Christmas extravaganza launched with Black Friday, but even after recovering from my cold, I’ve been having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea the holiday season is really here.
I Wanted Something Different
Deep inside me, maybe because I was not feeling particularly peppy, I wanted a quieter, more meaningful way to enter into Christmas, one I could enjoy and practice at home, even all by myself. Then, one morning, during my daily reading time, I stumbled onto…
Sybil MacBeth’s Year Round Advent
In this article, on The Living Church‘s website, MacBeth reflects on the meaning of Advent, the vocabulary of the season, and a variety of ways to incorporate Advent practices into your life.
I have been in love with MacBeth’s book Praying in Color for ever since a friend introduced me to it. Inspired by the Advent vocabulary from her article, I decided I would doodle a 3 x 5 inch card with one word from the Advent vocabulary each day until Christmas.
An Advent Vocabulary
Here is the word list I generated from MacBeth’s article along with the additional words I brainstormed after reading:
Preparation, Anticipation, Wonder, Star, Journey, Waiting, Watching, Attention, Patience, Hope, Despair, Expectancy, Darkness, Light, Fear, Faith, Repentance, Trust, Pregnant, Luscious, Angle, Mary, Shepherds, Gifts, Prayer, Invitation, Transformation, Salvation, Blessing, Love, Search, Celebrate, Share, Give, Make, Create, Grace, and Worship.
More Advent Options
A few days later, MacBeth’s next blog post hit my inbox: Last Call for 2017 Advent Calendar Templates. This posts refers readers back to her November 7 2017 post, Advent Calendar Templates, where you can download her coloring calendar templates.
If you choose to practice this method of Advent celebration, simply print out a template (there are more than I show here), and fill in a section with images, thoughts, or prayers. Day 1 was December 3, the first Sunday of the Advent Season.
I hope you and your family will find a practice to enjoy this holiday season.
How do you like to count down to Christmas, or to any other special Calendar date? Please share your ideas in the comment space below. Who knows? Another reader might decide to celebrate the season your way!