The word ‘Advent’ only really enters the public conscience at one point these days – Advent Calendars.
And my, it’s a booming industry.
Long gone are the days when a chocolate advent calendar was the height of decadence. Nowadays, you can now get cheese advent calendars, beauty product versions, and the ‘Ginvent’ calendar competes with its Malt Whisky rival. Retailers, it would seem, have left no calendar door unopened to flog their wares. Advent Calendars originated in Germany in the mid-nineteenth century. The basic idea was to build a sense of anticipation. Opening a door each day to count down the numbers to Christmas is a small way to build suspense and increase expectation for the approaching celebration. The latest offerings rather miss that point, extending instant gratification, rather than the delayed sort that can make the final festivities all the sweeter.
Will we forego anything this advent to draw deeper into the waiting that comes with following Christ?