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I remember waking up early on the first of December, rushing out of my room yet still trying to ‘sneak’ my way to the kitchen. The usual cold bowl of Rice Krispies and 2% milk would need to wait. After hopping up onto the counter in order to reach what otherwise would have been just out of my grasp, I excitedly ripped the small paper ‘Door 1’ off of my chocolate advent calendar. Every morning I’d wonder, was the small chocolate going to be a wreath, a snowman, a candy cane? Either way, it was a fun break from my otherwise typical morning breakfast routine. This chocolate morning became a daily occurrence as I literally would count down the days until Christmas, opening small chocolate doors with each day.
As simple as it sounds, this morning chocolate routine is a very memorable part of my childhood rhythm for getting ready for Christmas- this season of Advent. Advent to me remained a ‘before Christmas’ time and not much more. Advent season helped me count down the days until the real celebration began. And it included a daily chocolate. It’s only until quite recently that I’ve more deeply reflected on the beauty of the Advent season and how much more it is than simply ‘a countdown until Christmas’.
Advent season helped me count down the days until the real celebration began. And it included a daily chocolate. It’s only until quite recently that I’ve more deeply reflected on the beauty of the Advent season and how much more it is than simply ‘a countdown until Christmas’.
At Surrey Christian School, we really believe that the experiences and rhythms we invite our students into will form us and shape us into who we are designed by God to be. This formation is beautiful, honouring, challenging, and joy-filled. The Advent season is a formational season- our experiences and rhythms are forming us. My daily chocolate calendar was formational – it brought me anticipation, excitement, wonder, and set my eyes on something to come. The Advent season is a profound time of hope. We are people of Deep Hope and this all comes from God’s goodness and grace.
Last night at our dinner table, my four-year-old son got up after finishing his perogies and brought our very colourful, extremely heavy Christmas Advent book to the table. As a young family, we have been in that season of continuing with Advent traditions from our childhood and creating new ones together. One of our favourite traditions has been reading a story each December day in this book by Ann Voskamp, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. My daughter lights up in wonder as we count the stars showing God’s promises to Abram and make connections to how our Christmas tree is shaped like a ladder resembling the one in Jacob’s dream. We look for God’s love and goodness as we wait with hope.
May your Advent season be filled with God’s deepest love as you prepare your hearts for the beautiful, unending, all-encompassing hope we have in Jesus.
And yes, my two kids sneak downstairs every morning to eat an advent chocolate.
By Chelsea Todd, Assistant principal/Grade 4 teacher, Fleetwood Campus