While my family wasn't religious, my brothers and I were all given an Advent Calendar on December 1 every year. They were usually cardboard and paper, with secular themes of snow-covered Bavarian homes and a Santa, usually detailed with some glitter and purchased at the local Hallmark store. We would hang them on our bedroom walls and open the corresponding window of each date, which would usually show a new Christmas-related picture or part of a poem up until the final window to open on Christmas morning. One year when I was still very young, I was sick for a while in early December, some rash and fever or such. Somehow I remember that it was determined (by whom?) that it was the fault of the German-made paper from the Advent calendar, and it was summarily banished from my room. I was devastated.
Silly as it seems, these calendars were a big thing to us ... something that heightened our anticipation of Christmas Day. After my Mom died, my Dad still bought us each a calendar, even though we were in our mid-teens to early twenties at that point. We thought it was silly, but we opened them each day, first thing.
Dad sent me an Advent calendar every year until he died in 2005. Silly, childish ... but I loved them. I'd open them faithfully every morning.
I missed having one to open after he passed away. Another thing gone and dead from my childhood.
Tonight Scott came home with this:
As if y'all wondered why I'm in love with him.