Tag Archives: Advent calendars

Our traditional holiday lies

22 Nov

“I’m worried about the package,” my sister told me when we Skyped on Sunday. “I had to go to a different post office and the clerk gave me trouble.”

“How so?” I asked.

“Well, I lied, as always. Instead of saying the package contained tea, I said it contained chocolate. The clerk said it was a violation of Canadian and American law to send chocolate throughout the mail. So I said it was candy. I’m worried she flagged it for inspection.”

I laughed. We are always lying to federal officials on both sides of the border, about what our packages contain. They never contain anything illegal, but we lie just in case.

When I arrived home last night, I mounted the stairs chanting my new apres-knee mantra: “Good foot up, bad foot down”. I can walk unassisted, but am using a cane for security. As I reached the top step, I looked up and saw a small package at my door stoop. Oh, to be able to run or skip! It was, of course, my illicit Advent calendar.

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I sent a quick message to my sister then opened this tiny cabinet of wonders.

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One tea a day until Christmas! As a naturally curious person, I had to peek at my birthday. What tea would December 23 hold?

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Organic Kashmiri Chai! I resisted the temptation to peek at any others. I just have to wait patiently for 8 days, until I can open the first drawer.

 

 

 

Advent Calendars: A Slice of Life Story

24 Nov

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Growing up, we didn’t really “do” Advent. The first I heard of it was in Grade 5, after we’d moved to  New Hamburg, Ontario,  population 3,500 and home to about 10 churches, including two Lutheran (which we referred to as the red Lutheran or the white Lutheran) and three Mennonite churches. Everybody went somewhere. We went to Zion United Church and that is where I first heard about the concept of Advent.

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My sister and I joined the Junior Choir and soon learned that when we heard the tones of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”  and “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”,  Advent was upon us. Aside from special hymns at church, though,  we did nothing else to mark the season.

It wasn’t until I spent my first Christmas away from home as an exchange student in Denmark that I became acquainted with the Advent calendar. My Danish host parents gave me a home-made fabric calendar that had a little present tied to each of the 24 rings on it, one for each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas. I remember that most of the presents were useful gifts: a thimble, folding scissors, that sort of thing. Every morning my host mother would ask what I got that day as we talked over coffee when I got home from school.

It seemed that after I returned home, I suddenly noticed the appearance of the boxed advent calendars with a little piece of chocolate behind each day’s door.

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This year, my sister has outdone herself. She sent me a DAVIDsTEA 24 Days of Tea 2015 advent calendar!It looks like a simple box, but it opens to reveal the beauty and joy within.

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Yes, one festive holiday tea for each of the 24 days before Christmas.  I snuck a peek at day 1’s tea,

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 a caffeine free blend called sleigh ride that contains the following ingredients: Apple, Beet Root, Candied Papaya, Cinnamon Sticks, Coconut Chips, Hibiscus Blossoms, Natural Flavours, Pineapple, Popped Rice, Raisins, Roasted Almonds. It looks good enough to eat!

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For now, I’m just thinking about it. I can wait the week until December 1st. Really, I can. But, I won’t tell you if I don’t.

Randy Ribay

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