Advent specifically refers to counting down to Christmas. It has ancient roots to the wise men watching for signs of the coming of Christ. Our modern iterations, however, are decidedly less spiritual. Modern advent is usually caloric and consumerist.
Advent calendars are a big part of Nordic Christmas traditions. Like many of us, they enjoy chocolate advent calendars. They also enjoy other more commercial advent calendars, as well as homemade ones with small trinkets.
In the spirit of Nordic Christmas our family has a Lego Advent calendar this year. After all, those beloved building blocks are Danish.
As a family we try to incorporate as many service opportunities as possible. Sometimes just coming up with ideas can be overwhelming. I find the overwhelm paralyzes me; instead of doing something I do nothing at all. I have found the Light The World campaign to be a helpful starter. I print off the calendar and display it on my fridge.
(Last year’s calendar from LTW is also great. If you want a daily call to action and don’t mind that the days and dates don’t match with this year, this is a good option. The change in format this year to weekly themes instead of dailies.)
I’ve also found a calendar inspired by Light the World but focused on small and simple things the littlest ones among us can do. You can view and download it here.
I have friends who won’t use a calendar to count down. Some have 24 Christmas books wrapped, one to unwrap and read each day. Others count down with ornaments for the tree, or bucket list activities to celebrate around town.
There are so many ways to countdown to Christmas. They do not need to be commercial. Nor do they need to be caloric. However you celebrate in your home, make it meaningful for your family. The internet is full of ideas to countdown to Christmas in a variety of ways.