I grew up with Advent calendars. You might remember them – the paper-cut, pop-out, open-a-door-a-day-until-Christmas-kind. I loved them: the expectation, the sense that something is coming, the hint and promise of door 25 and the joy it marks.
Years passed and my faith grew up, too. I learned what was behind the calendar tradition. Advent is the Christian Church’s season of marking the “Advent,” the coming, of Jesus Christ into our world. It’s a time to remember the past, to celebrate his present reign, and live in expectation of his return.
I wanted a special way to mark this season for our kids, so several years ago my mom and I cooked up the Cornett Advent calendar. We bought a sweet, sturdy box with 25 doors – but the real gem is what’s inside. She put together 25 objects that we paired with 25 verses of Scripture to tell the story of Story, narrowing down to the life of Jesus and the details surrounding his birth. A year or two ago I finally sat down and did simple write-up of the days, themes, and objects.
A couple other things: Each year I throw some sweet treat in behind the doors as well (usually chocolates, truffles, etc.). Check for 2012. But this year I also dropped in 25 short notes, each one printed with a fact about the quest for clean water projects through the awesome Charity:Water. There’s enough consumerism all around us that it’s time to take active-countermeasures: focusing on a great need and the creative and effective ways people are meeting it ought to challenge and inspire us to live differently. We need the reminder that it is more blessed to give than to receive – and the best gifts mean life and light.