One reason that many Christians are rediscovering Advent is that Christmas has become so commercialized. Advent is a way to keep our concentration on what the Christmas season is supposed to be about, namely, the coming of Christ. But now Advent is also becoming commercialized!
Alissa Wilkinson has written a good explanation of Advent for Vox. She explains the history of the season and what it means. She includes some interesting details that I had not realized. (For example, that Lutherans invented the Advent Calendar. By the way, Lutherans apparently also invented the Advent Wreath, according to another source that I stumbled upon, which says the wreath derives from the Scandinavian custom of hanging up a wagon wheel decorated with evergreens and candles.)
She then says that the theme of “anticipation”–specifically, anticipation for Christmas (rather than for Christ)–is for non-religious people too. She focuses on the secularized versions of Advent calendars, which are built around candy or Santa Clausy things for children and product lines for adults. [Read more…]