Sunday 1 December 2013

A is for...Advent

A-Z of Christmas. A is for...Advent.
Rather appropriately we kick off our Christmas countdown with an 'A' for Advent. If you say Advent probably the most associated words are calendar and then chocolate. The assumption is that 1st December heralds the start of the true Christmas period and when we tick off the days until 25th December. The fact is Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before 25th December which this year of course does actually happen to be today, 1st December. In theory this can be any of the days between 27th November and 3rd December.

Another common thought is that we are counting the days down to Christmas Day. Whilst Christians will will be looking forward to commemorating the birth of Jesus it is actually a time to prepare about the Second Coming. I bet that's not something most people think about when they shove a piece of cheap chocolate into their months after they've open the calendar door.

If you're of a certain age you may remember that each year on Blue Peter they got some wire coat hangers, a bit of tinsel and a selection of candles to make an Advent Wreath. I doubt they still do this today if only because of the difficulty of getting hold of a wire coat hanger. Churches still have an Advent Wreath with another candle being lit each Sunday in the run-up to Christmas Eve. We have a single Advent candle each which you burn each day down to the next number. A little tip – once you put your decorations up remember that the candle flame can melt the tinsel that you have stylishly hung round your living room mirror...
Church's Advent candle wreath

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