Worst Ever Advent “Devotion”

See the accompanying picture for my nominee for worst Advent devotion. Ever. Bryna came across it while Christmas shopping at Target and thankfully e-mailed me this picture. She knows me too well.

Now, Advent calendars are one  thing. I like Advent calendars. I’ve always liked Advent calendars. Ever since I was a kid I’ve liked Advent calendars. Sure they don’t actually coincide with the season of Advent — there are usually a few days of Advent that go unnoticed and unrecognized in November since all Advent calendars start December 1st. But at least they get people excited about the holy countdown to the 25th.

But this product is wrong in so many ways. The idea is that after stringing your ” edible Advent garland” you eat chocolate for the “12 days of Christmas.” It says right on the package “Hang it up and let the countdown begin December 13th.” The problem, of course, is that the 12 days of Christmas begin on December 25th, they don’t end on Christmas Day. No one’s bringing out the partridge in a pear tree on December 13th!

This is precisely where the sacred and secular celebrations of Christmas diverge. For retailers and most of America, Christmas is over the moment the last present is unwrapped. For Christians, the season of hope and joy is just beginning. The 12 days of Christmas culminate with the Epiphany as the Wise Men finally make it to the manger on January 6th.

I’m not sure who makes this thing. But if you see it, please don’t buy it. We don’t need to encourage this sort of yuletide misinformation. The last thing we need is someone writing a song about the “12 Days of Advent.” The other one is bad enough — by far my least favorite Christmas carol (think seasonal version of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall).

In any case, continued blessings to all during these waning days of Advent.


4 Comments on “Worst Ever Advent “Devotion””

  1. Bob Chapman says:

    Christians not under the sway of American Evangelicaism have it right. Presents aren’t given on Christmas. St. Nicholas, maybe. Three Kings Day, most appropriate. But not Christmas.

    Maybe it is time for those in the Liturgical Churches to reclaim Christmas by reclaiming previous custom. Give gifts on a day other than Christmas. That is Christ’s birthday.

  2. Shameful! If you are going to give me chocolate to help me prepare for the birth of our Lord, give me 24 pieces!

    (I also agree with you about the song, although I’ve found I can sit all the way through Straight No Chaser’s version HERE, mostly because it derails from the original fairly early on.)

  3. Mariclaire Buckley says:

    I like Mr Chapman’s idea. Not as much for liturgical purity, but for being able to take advantage of after Christmas sales

  4. Katharine Wiley says:

    I love Advent calendars — always have, always will. This… thing… is indeed an abomination. And I *love* chocolate!
    I make kind of a big thing to my kids that the season we’re in right now is ADVENT. We have an Advent wreath and a number of other projects that are specifically Advent projects, to prepare for Christmas, and I always add the necessary days to their Advent calendars because Advent doesn’t start on Dec 1. Grump. We also don’t get our tree until the weekend before Christmas.
    Possibly more importantly, I spread the gift-giving out through the twelve days of actual Christmas. They get several gifts Christmas morning. They get something small on Boxing Day, usually candy. They get another present on New Year’s Day, and then a last gift or two on Epiphany (as well as a cake), when the Magi figures of our Nativity set finally make it round the room to the stable. On January 7th, which is when Russian Orthodox Christmas falls and is my mother’s birthday, the Holy Family take flight and the Magi start their way home evading Herod, and the ornaments come off the tree. The next day the tree goes out on the deck and is hung with treats for the birds and squirrels, and the Christmas stuff is packed up.
    I don’t claim this system is perfect or would work for everyone. But I did enjoy my daughter saying pityingly of someone else last year, “Oh, dear! They don’t understand Christmas lasts *twelve* days, not just one.”


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