Growing up, my Nana would always purchase Advent Calendars for me and my siblings. Every year it became a bigger complication of what kind to get: ‘Well Brice is too young for chocolates but Brooke and Bailey want chocolate’, ‘The piece of paper ones are boring’, ‘But we want candy!!’ Finally, my Nana just gave up and stopped buying them as to avoid this RIDICULOUS commentary between all the grandkids. This year, I was reminiscing on our old Advent Calendars, and I started thinking about how insane we were to be so picky. We were taking something that should have been pulling us into The Word and turning it into a bicker-fest, which is totally the opposite of what should have been occurring. I was pondering this right about when I was pulling out my ornaments and preparing to decorate my Christmas tree, and I had a sort of epiphany. Why not make the advent calendar related to decorating the tree, and why not make myself go into The Word every day of the advent season?
I’m sort of minimalistic when it comes to decorating my tree. I don’t like too many lights or ornaments or garland because I truly like to see that there’s a tree in my room. I don’t have huge flashy ornaments, most are actually just plain plastic, chalkboard or wooden (minus a couple mickey mouse ornaments). I actually really like to buy the little decoration pieces from Michael’s and turn those into ornaments. Very plain, but to the point. This season is ALL about the birth of our King. As I was pulling out these plain brown paper ornaments, I started to think, well what if I used these and wrote numbers on the front and bible verses on the back? The whole process took a few days to come together, but I ended up with my perfect Advent Calendar. The best part was, it was super cheap ($7 for 25 paper ornaments and twine), so I could change it year after year to include different bible verses. PERFECT!!
Then I had a friend over for dinner, and after telling her my bright idea, she says, “Well, what are you going to do with them after the day is over? Leave them on the tree?” And this brought up a new series of questions… It would look weird to leave these up with numbers, but the tree would be SUPER bare if I took them all off… And here we have epiphany #2! We’ll just replace them with other ornaments! So I went off back to the store and bought 25 more ‘decoration’ pieces and some red and green spray paint. I made them into colored ornaments and put them in a decorative box next to our stockings. This way, each day I take one advent ornament off, I can replace the plain brown ornament with a pretty colored ornament!
In the same way as we prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus, we are slowly removing the ugly essence of the world prior to our Kings birth, and replacing it with the glorious revelation that we will live forever in paradise because of him. I love absolutely every part of my ‘Advent Calendar’ this year. I am in the word every single night, and usually just opening my Bible leads me to reading more than those two or three sentences. Of course, I read them all out loud to Cooper every night because he should be aware of what is happening too (Lord help me when I have human children). Usually he just stares at me and flops his head from side to side, but I tell myself he knows what’s going on and is really listening. I’m sure I am not the first person to think this idea up, but I was so excited I was able to make it happen in a low-cost, maximum result kind of way. I had to share for anybody else out there looking for a better alternative to the paper or candy advent calendars!!