Amy Smith is the Register’s associate editor who edits features for the “Culture of Life” section. Fueled by prayer and coffee, she enjoys writing about everything from Jane Austen to saints for the Register. She is the author of The Plans God Has for You: Hopeful Lessons for Young Women (Emmaus Road Publishing, 2020). Her writing has also appeared in various other Catholic publications. She has a master’s degree in journalism and a B.A. in English. Find her online at Instagram.com/hopefulwordsmith/ and Twitter.com/hope_wordsmith.
As a child I looked forward to the appearance of my family’s Advent calendar on Dec. 1.
Each day my sister and I would take turns taking the plush Velcro items out of their pockets and affixing them to the appropriate spots in the countdown to Christmas. Teddy bears, presents and candles etc. all took turns.
The closer we got to Christmas, the more filled the family keepsake became — a tangible reminder that Jesus’ birthday was getting closer.
I still have the Advent calendar; it is still a key part of my preparations. It is a part of many Christians’ preparations (I even saw make-your-own Advent calendar ideas in a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living) for a reason.
The Register is already working on the Christmas issue of the paper (Dec. 18, the last one for 2011), but why we celebrate Advent is worth considering.
Counting down to Christmas is an important part of Advent because our hearts need time to be ready for Love’s arrival.
We need Advent at this busy time of year to remind us that the busyness isn’t what matters: The tiny Child sent to save us is the best present of all.
O Come, O come Emmanuel!