In Orthodox Christianity the season of preparing for Christmas (commonly known as Advent) is called the Nativity Fast. It lasts 40 days and begins on 15th November. Because of the difference in dates, (Advent begins on the Sunday four weeks before Christmas) it is almost impossible to find an Orthodox Advent calendar. So this year, my family is planning to make our own Countdown calendar. (Technically, it’s more of a countdown than calendar, but you get the idea.)
Similar to my earlier post about recycling socks for an Advent countdown, I have decided to make our Orthodox Countdown on a string too. We have decided to use red stars for each day. Red, because it is the liturgical colour for the season, and stars because they remind us of the Star of Bethlehem, showing us the way towards Christmas. Every day in Orthodoxy is dedicated to one (or usually, many) saints or feasts. To help keep us focused and teach our children about the saints and the Christmas Story, each day we will place a picture and short description of the saint of the day (or piece of the Christmas Story) on each star.
By the time the Nativity Fast ends, we will be surrounded by a beautiful garland of saints and symbols of Christmas. I’ll post pictures as the garland progresses.
How about you? How do you count down to Christmas? I’d love to hear your ideas!
photo by alicepopkorn