Reminiscing about childhood traditions of Christmas while living in Germany for three years led me to order a German advent calendar this year. I knew I was on to something when I found one on angels while shopping on-line.
The month of December begins a countdown toward Christmas. Advent means toward, and a glistening village snow scene had 24 numbered doors camouflaged in the calendar. December 1 would begin the search for door number 1, and so on up to Christmas Eve.
Only seven when I got my first calendar, what fun to search for the hidden door of the day, and pop it open. I'd find a little picture of a toy, or a candy cane, or a gingerbread man. These simple symbols of the Christmas season fed my joyful anticipation of Christmas Day drawing nearer. The calendar brought another good lesson on patience. If you cheat and open more than one door, it doesn't bring Christmas any sooner.
Now, that I'm mostly grown up, I never want to lose the joy of expectancy each day. An idea came to me one December to see each new day as a living advent calendar door. Watch for God's loving surprise to open up as I go about my business. And to look for ways to be a gift to another.
May your holy season be filled with Joy, Peace and Love.