Im Lande des Christkinds, 
Drawn and issued by Richard Ernst Kepler (1851-1930),
Colour print on cardboard paper,
Issued in 1903

Im Lande des Christkinds, 
Drawn and issued by Richard Ernst Kepler (1851-1930),
Colour print on cardboard paper,
Issued in 1903

Gospel of 27 November 2022

First Sunday of Advent

Matthew 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of Man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept all away. It will be like this when the Son of Man comes. Then of two men in the fields one is taken, one left; of two women at the millstone grinding, one is taken, one left.

‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’

Reflection on the Vintage Advent Calendar

And so we come to the first day of Advent. In its origins, this four-week period known as ‘Advent’ (from the Latin word ‘adventus’ meaning ‘coming’) began as a time for early converts to Christianity to prepare for their baptism into the Church. Advent now though is the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. It also marks the beginning of the new Liturgical year.

Today's artwork is an Advent calendar dating from 1903. The origin of the Advent calendar can be traced back to the mid 19th Century. These first calendars came initially from the protestant areas in Germany where religious families marked chalk lines for every day in December until Christmas Eve. It then evolved to these printed versions which people would hang in their houses. From the early 1900’s little hinged doors appeared, revealing a bible verse upon opening. This soon developed into hiding some chocolates behind the small hinged flaps. During the Second World War, as cardboard was rationed and with a Nazi ban on the printing of religious calendars with images, this tradition disappeared. Production restarted in 1946 again.

I remember well, as a child, having such an advent calendar at home. It was very exciting every morning to get up and open the little door for that day (and yes, find some chocolate!). It is still a lovely way to involving children in the lead up to Christmas, and count the days to Christ’s light coming in to the world.

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Andy Bocanegra
Member
Andy Bocanegra
1 year ago

As an American of Mexican descent, I never used an Advent calendar. I don’t think it is a part of the Mexican culture. I see them being used more often now here in the United States as they have become more mainstream and not necessarily religious.

Rya Lucas
Member
Rya Lucas
1 year ago

Ik heb nooit een adventskalender gehad. Kon ook niet: ik ben een oorlogskind. Heb wel adventskalenders gegeven aan kindjes die ik kende – zelf heb ik geen kinderen. Deze prachtige adventskalender maakt me een beetje blij en een beetje triest… die kalenders worden nu veelal gebruikt door niet-gelovigen omdat er snoepjes e.d. in gestopt kunnen worden; dan hebben de ouders geen vragen als; ‘wanneer is het kerstmis?’. Voor mij is Kerstmis heel anders is dan voor veel mensen in mijn omgeving. Ondanks dat ik meestal alleen ben, ervaar ik heel intens de geboorte van het Kindeke Jezus. Het lukt niet altijd, maar meestal denk ik: ‘Ik ben niet alleen, God is altijd bij mij!’. Voor allen: een mooie Adventstijd en een Zalig Kerstmis.

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere
1 year ago
Reply to  Rya Lucas

Rya, een echte christelijke kalender vind je bij FOCOLARE. Veel succes!

Silvina Tirabassi
Member
Silvina Tirabassi
1 year ago

Thank you to all of you for sharing these beautiful family stories with us! I didn’t know the tradition of the Advent calendar. Gracias!

Anthony
Member
Anthony
1 year ago

Ok, Silvina, now you can start your own Christmas tradition. Merry Christmas!

Silvina Tirabassi
Member
Silvina Tirabassi
1 year ago
Reply to  Anthony

Good idea Anthony!. Feliz Navidad!

Silvina Tirabassi
Member
Silvina Tirabassi
1 year ago

Feliz Adviento, Padre Patrick!

Anthony
Member
Anthony
1 year ago

Would someone translate “weihnachts” for me please?

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere
1 year ago
Reply to  Anthony

holy night

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere
1 year ago

Dank je Patrick voor de ‘jaarkalender’ iedere dag, gans het jaar door. Een goede start ‘s morgens!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 year ago

I was such a mean mum! As a child there were no chocolate calendars, just paper ones. When my own children were little (so long ago lol!) I insisted on a religious one with readings behind, because I thought you had to wait for Christmas for the chocolate! So mean lol! Now they buy both chocolate and religious ones for their children. We often laugh about how mean I was back then!

Anthony
Member
Anthony
1 year ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Mean mum!!! Lol. You gave your children the right food. The word of God. We always insisted on a calender with scripture. But as time went on the goodies took over. But we always chose a calender with christian symbols e.g a star, an angel etc.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 year ago

You were very spoilt Patrick! Chocolate was such a treat for us, especially at Christmas.

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere
1 year ago

and the best!

Anthony
Member
Anthony
1 year ago

Advent calenders were not common here in the north west of england when I was growing up. But when married we always had one for our children. My wife has made one for all our children with little pockets to hold the goodies. Unfortunately, they looked forward to the goodies more than Jesus coming. Come Lord Jesus !

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 year ago

Every child should have an Advent calendar! We bought one in Copenhagen of cardboard with little numbered compartments. We put little surprises behind each door.

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