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Advent Calendars

Maybe it is because I am not married and have no children that I've never heard of Advent Calendars until now! Apparently they have been around for over 100 years and can be religious or commercial. Nowadays they tell me they are commonplace, especially where there are children. What is their purpose? One of the lessons it seems to me is to teach us patience: everyone knows that there are small treats behind each date with its little door and we must not plunder the contents of the 20th Dec. on the 5th. Once a season for repentance, advent is now seen as a season for hope.
I checked out samples for 2013. Most of the 'religious' calendars I've seen concentrate on Christian preparation for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, with relevant scripture texts and pictures.

The more 'Winterfest' commercial efforts have all kinds of rubbishy advertising for chocolates, cakes, and even whiskey.

One calendar I did like was
2013 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar which presents an amazing new image of our universe from NASA's Hubble telescope. It can be reached at:



I certainly agree with you about the manky chocolate
generally available at Christmas!
If you have an address and some idea of any dietary allergies/issues, I am happy to post some of 'the good stuff' for you to enjoy both eating and sharing around. It's not a problem, I have all kinds of vouchers and discounts that I'll never use otherwise before they expire.
Thank you for your very generous offer. In spite of calories (!) I could not turn down such a lovely gesture at Christmas time.

Address: Michael Kavanagh, CBS, Joseph St., Wexford, Ireland.
No problem! There'll be a small 'care package' going out tomorrow from my preferred chocolate supplier (if it goes direct from them, they have all the packing materials as well as automatic registered post). It's been a little delayed owing to unexpected short notice events, however nothing bad has happened.
How wonderful. Thank you very much. Looking forward to sampling your taste in chocolate!