Sweet Treats for You

Here & Now Advent Blog

Seasons’ Greetings!

I’ve been busy since before Thanksgiving curating, editing and hosting a daily blog for Advent for Selah Center. Selah’s blog Here & Now, publishes contemplative writings from its community in the Pacific Northwest. As a member of the Selah Community, I edit their weekly blog. But, for Advent we decided to offer a daily post — a grown-up Advent calendar.

If you enjoy reading The Write Stuff, I encourage you to check out the Here & Now blog. You’ll find it on WordPress. Here-and-Now-blog.com

Here’s what I wrote introducing the Here & Now for Advent series.

–Debora Buerk

A Sweet Treat for You

A Grown-Up Advent Calendar

By Debora Buerk
Editor, Here & Now
Selah Companion

As a kid, I looked forward to receiving an Advent calendar from my parents each Christmas. It helped mark the days until Christmas, a very exciting time for me as a child. There are many Advent calendars, but they typically have “doors” for each day leading up to Christmas. Each day you open a door to reveal an image, a poem, a portion of a story (such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus), or a small gift, such as a toy or candy. Or, perhaps a Bible verse or Christian prayer, which can be incorporated as part of daily Advent devotions. But, as a kid, I was after the chocolate! It was nearly as torturous to wait until the next day to open another door for chocolate as it was to wait for Christmas Day.

German Lutherans used the first Advent calendar in the 19th and 20th centuries. Their use has since spread to other Christian denominations.

Traditional Advent calendars feature the manger scene, Saint Nicholas, or a winter scene, while others range in theme from sports to technology. They come in many forms, from a simple paper calendar with flaps covering each day to fabric pockets on a background scene to painted wooden boxes with cubby holes for small items. The Advent calendars of my early childhood years were homemade. Later on, different types of calendars were commercially available.

Advent calendars aren’t necessarily two-dimensional. Some European villages create Advent calendars on buildings or even “living” Advent calendars, with different windows in a building decorated for each day of Advent.

As an adult, I still look forward to beginning an Advent calendar–although these days, I prefer reading my calendar rather than eating it. I lean toward devotion-based, bound books with a reading for each day–such as Jesus Calling for Christmas and Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent. Some I return to over and over. Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas has become a perennial favorite of mine.

I enjoyed reading my grandmothers’ copies of Christmas Ideals as a girl. If you haven’t guessed, it was the inspiration behind the design of  Wondrous Light: Through Advent and Christmas, published by Selah Center last year. 

A few months ago, as I searched for my grown-up Advent calendar, (I settled on The Carols of Christmas: Daily Advent Devotions on Classic Christmas Carols) and I wondered what an Advent Blog could look like.

So, I reached out to the writers from Selah’s Here & Now blog and the Selah Center books, asking them if they were up for the challenge of writing enough contemplative reflections for every day of Advent. The response was tremendous. Their writings started appearing in my inbox. 

My grown-up Advent calendar has become a community calendar. Starting today, Here & Now will publish a daily special series of reflections for Advent and Christmas. Not only did I receive enough writings through Advent, but also for Christmas Eve to New Year’s. I considered it a gift from Selah to read these reflections, and I hope you will also receive them as gifts. 

I hope you will look forward to opening a “new door” each day on the Here & Now blog and find a sweet treat to savor during Advent. I pray you’ll find my grown-up Advent calendar as delicious as the chocolate ones of my childhood. I can hardly wait until tomorrow…

I can smell the Christmas tree already.

Until next time, you’d better watch out; you’d better be good because Santa Claus is coming to town.

Debora Ragland Buerk
The Write Stuff
Looking at life from a different POV.