When I was at university, my parents sent me an advent calendar which I happily made my way through, munching a chocolate every day. They did the same this year for my brother… who ate all of it while November was still darkening its days. Maybe your little ones are struggling with only having one a day, and maybe you’re joining them in restraining yourself too! Or perhaps you go for the more serene advent candle option. I’ve tried that, but always find I leave it burning too long one day, and then forget to do it at all the next week!
There are all sorts of ways to enjoy advent. Instagram advertised a cheese advent calendar to me a few days ago (Instagram knows me better than most people I know, I swear!) and some friends of mine have created themselves a gin calendar! Then there are the more experience-based calendars, where families can write up 24 Christmassy activities to do together and spend time together over the season. My mum wrote up a simple version of the Christmas story for us when we were very small, to listen to over the 24 days… while munching our chocolate!
It took very little searching to find some slightly crazy Advent calendars. There were some very meaningful options, such as 24 reasons you love someone, or 24 pictures from the last year. And then there were the others. For example a Gregg’s advent calendar which is, I won’t lie, potentially the best thing a person could get for me. Ever. Maybe you’re more of a gourmet marshmallow person? There’s a calendar for that! Wine, Prosecco, beauty products – you name it, there is probably a calendar that fits.
Is this too far? For something that is, at it’s heart, supposed to be preparing us for Christmas day and the birth of Jesus – you could say it’s been commercialised a bit. But, maybe enjoying a different flavour of pork crackling every day (looking at you John Lewis) is how people are choosing to enjoy the season. And that’s alright too. So many ways to experience Advent, and no right way as always! And of course, not everybody celebrates Advent and Christmas – we’d love to hear from you too.