TX. Advent calendar

Last year around Christmas time, I had a neighbor whose wife was very sick. He and my dad were good friends, and my sisters and I often went and visited him with treats, foods and other gifts.

One day, the neighbor came to our house with what appeared to be some thin pieces of cardboard. I accepted them, not knowing what they were. I told him thanks, and then he started talking with my dad. When I looked closer, I realized that the cardboard pieces were Advent calendars!

We had an Advent calendar with stories in it when I was younger, so seeing this new gift brought back lots of memories. I sat down and immediately went to open the first door when my sister came in and brought me to a screeching halt. I realized that there were names written in marker at the top of each calendar — one for each of my youngest sisters.

As I watched them throughout the holiday season, opening their Advent calendars to a new treat every day from our wonderful neighbor, I realized that there was so much joy to be found in this simple tradition. The calendars are something that bring back memories and remind us of Decembers past.

There are many different types of Advent calendars, which are named for the season of Advent and counting down the days until Christmas. There’s everything from the reusable type with small objects you pull out of the doors each year, to the candy calendars that last just one year (or until you can’t stand to wait any longer and open all the doors!), to the calendars with little quotes and sayings inside that make you giggle or fill you with the Christmas spirit.

Some calendars are even more personalized. You can find Lego Advent calendars and other Advent calendars that appeal to children and teenagers alike. There are also calendars with religious themes and calendars that count down the days to Hanukkah.

Then there is also that Advent calendar that you always see at your grandma’s house. It has beautiful objects that are in mint condition despite being used year in and year out. These can be a reminder of how much your family loves you, and where you came from, which is something we should never forget!

There is no doubt that Advent calendars bring people together. When a family gathers around the fireplace where the stockings hang, at night before the little kids go to bed, they open the next door on their Advent calendar with excitement and joy. Children bring such joy at Christmas, and Advent calendars are just the way to bring that out!

This Christmas, getting an Advent calendar is something every family should consider. Whether it’s been a long day at work or you’ve had the best day of your life, Advent calendars can bring a family together and spark the Christmas spirit like no other tradition can. They can bring happiness and light to every home, and there is nothing better in the mind of a child than getting a little gift in a calendar.

During this Christmas season, whether you choose the calendar with the candy or small toys or something else, an Advent calendar is definitely an important part of the season. Without them, there would definitely be less excitement, less togetherness and less family. And without family, where would we be?

Kaia McClure is a senior at Syracuse High and one of four girls in her family. Aside from reading and writing, she loves going boating and playing tennis. Email her at kaiaxmc@gmail.com.

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