Well, I did it! I wrote every day from early October to New Year's Day 2010. Now I will write for fun when I feel like it and see where that gets me. Cheers to all my small-blessing-appreciating friends!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Advent Calendar

For those of my readers who do not know what an advent calendar is, let me explain this joy of my childhood. Advent is the four-week season of preparation for Christmas. The calendar consists of a printed cardboard picture (often with glitter representing snow). It has little perforated doors all over it, numbered for each of the days of December until Christmas. Behind each door is a little picture printed on tissue, so it is translucent. The calendar is placed in a window to backlight the little pictures as the doors are opened day by day.

I had wondered why so many advent calendars are printed in Germany so I looked in trusty wikipedia. It seems they were invented because of a German Lutheran custom of counting off the days of Advent. An enterprising Swabian printer made the first printed calendars near the beginning of the last century. After World War II paper shortages, a printer named Richard Sellmer in Stuttgart revived the production and now his company stocks over 1, 000,000 calendars worldwide. They are the largest dealers. Advent calendars are very popular in England, so it was a custom my father introduced to our household.

Now that my children are grown, I buy myself an advent calendar. My calendar, pictured above, was made by Sellmer's company and shows a charming scene of daily life in a town in the Holy Land. The doors are well hidden in the scene. Part of the fun is searching out the day's door to be opened. I remember as a child, poring over the doors, wondering what would be behind them. With shame and amusement I recall the year I secretly opened the door for the 25th and peeked at the picture. Then I attempted to seal it up again, but of course it would no longer close properly. The blessing is in the anticipation.

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