Advent and Advent calendar do not go hand to hand for The Litlle Family and have never gone hand to hand with their bigger families when they were still alive and united.
Advent begins on the First Sunday ... in Advent, that is four Sundays before Christmas Day. The day is always a Sunday but the date varies. This year, it was on the 29th of November.
The Advent Calendar is something en plus. It is a fancy addition. The date where it starts is always the 1st of December but the day varies. The opposite of Advent!
The Little Family has kept both traditions.
The most important is Advent with its four Sundays because the Little Family is Roman Catholic. The founding for Advent is Christmas. Christmas is the day where Christ is born. This is the heart of the waiting and the celebration. Presents, and food, and decorations are additions - very welcome additions but additions nonetheless.
So we started Advent last Sunday, with the ceremony of candles: a purple one lighted before mass, at breakfast. It is lighted everyday for the night prayer together, before going to bed. Around this single lighted candle, there are four others: two other purple ones, one rose pink one, a white one. The colours have their signification that we shall discover along Advent. And there are evergreens, branches with late berries, pieces of bark: things which come from the garden and decorate the glass plate upon which the candles are put.
But yesterday, the Advent calendars were intalled and open. One in each of The Girls' room and one on the sideboard in the dining room. The Girls' Advent Calendars are modestes in dimensions and hang with a ribon from a wall. They open each a window everyday and they find each a picture in the little window. It is the same principle in the dining room. But the Advent Calendar is much bigger. It is Victorian and represents a village with its High Street and lots of busy characters. There are lights behind the cardboard which has four folds and the light allows us to see the thinner paper of the windows open each day.
No chocolate and no presents with the Advent Calendars. We are awaiting He Who Comes, Emmanuel. Presents will celebrate the end of the waiting.
Veni, Veni, Emmanuel