Every year, my family celebrates the coming of Christmas with Advent Calendars. It stems from my childhood, now decades ago: we used to get Advent Calendars from England and count the days through December to Christmas Eve. Those were simple calendars; for simple days. These days we buy them with chocolates to mark the passage of days: such as the Lindt calendar pictured at right. (Yes, I bought that one for myself.) I’ve created my own Advent Calendars over the years: digital versions that used pictures of home and hearth and friends. A few years ago we started a tradition of making an advent calendar for families we know: we got an empty calendar from IKEA that we could fill with chocolates from around the world to make it special. It’s fun, and we enjoy seeing the kids’ faces as they find the surprises.

This year, however, I’m going to add something different. Following so closely on the heels of American Thanksgiving, I’m very aware of the many things I should be thankful for. This was perhaps emphasized today when I stumbled across an article describing 14 things that one author was thankful for (Clyde Engle, 2015). So I’m going to list a few of them: from now until Christmas Eve, the 24 things which strike me this Advent, for which I’m thankful.

If you’d like to read those about those things for which I’m thankful this year, they are grouped at this link… though apparently in reverse order of publication. 

1. I’m thankful for traditions, new and old.

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