As a child, I was somewhat confused by the partridge in the pear tree and by Advent calendars. I liked both—especially the calendars, with their stiff little paper tabs opening up to an image of a toy or a bird or a tree for each day—but I didn’t understand the numerology.
Advent calendars were calendars, but they didn’t last the entire month. They ended at twenty-four, the payoff of the often-arch-shaped double door opening up to reveal a honey-tinted scene of the Christ child in the manger. [Read more...]