Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Chocolatisation of Advent...

Miss Ellen E. has a very good and thought-provoking post on the chocolatisation of Advent.

By virtue of the fact that I had a German mother (and thus a doting German grandmother living abroad) the Advent calendars of my youth always had chocolate in them. And not in a box below the picture, either: these were proper Advent calendars, with a Nativity scene, lots of glitter, and proper chocolate... with a different shaped chocolate behind each door.

I wasn't brought up as a Catholic, and not even as a Christian - I was baptised at the age of thirteen - but I knew the Christmas story (a rather garbled version, to be sure) from school Nativity plays. I knew what Christmas was actually about, and presents and Santa Claus were an enjoyable result of the birth of Christ.

With the modern tendency to remove any Christian themes from Christmas, most children now know nothing of what Christmas is actually about, and we cannot blame them for wanting to have their favourite cartoon characters on their chocolate calendars. Finding Advent calendars with religious scenes is hard enough - calendars with religious scenes and chocolate are like hens' teeth. It's up to us to tell the manufacturers what we really want, and to keep telling them, until they get the message.

6 comments:

Clare said...

M and S this year did a chocolate nativity scene calendar. You even get to build the cardboard scene before slotting the chocolate section into it and adding the cut out animals... all very exciting. We are yet to sample the chocolates however.. Holding out for the 1st for that one.

Moretben said...

Restore the penitential character of Advent (the Orthodox have been fasting since November 15th) and they'll be counting the days until they can HAVE chocolate!

As Fr Schmemann said, it's too late now to "put Christ back into Christmas"; but we can all put Christmas into Christ - starting with a proper Advent.

Miss Ellen E. said...

Thanks for the link Mac.

I agree with you - the Germans certainly know how to 'do' Christmas. Have you noticed the increasing popularity of 'German Christmas Markets' now in the UK?

I've yet to find a Christmas Advent Wreath with chocolate candles that will do the job though! :)

Joe said...

Since the recent revelation that the diet police had done a miscalculation as to how many calories we are really allowed each day (I think they thought we were all a bit more sedentary than we actually are) ... Mac, you are allowed 320 calories more each day, while we males can have 400 calories more each day! Does that mean the advent calendars should hide two chocolates for each day, instead of one?

gemoftheocean said...

Good to go on the plug, Mac. Off to 1st Mass of the day (EF to hear the sermon and get my 1st EF Advent in 40+ years -- then 2nd Mass later tonight to help out the Sainted Fr. S.)

Elizabeth said...

I was sent a brilliant Christmas Kit which I have hung on my kitchen wall and will aim to follow the suggestions together with my three teenage daughters.
We all need to prepare for Advent, it is not just for children.

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