Marketta Gregory: Advent calendar
I first fell in love with felt Advent calendars about six years ago when I saw a Christmas tree with 25 superbly decorated pockets at Pottery Barn.
I could practically see it filled with tiny presents and hanging on my walls, but I couldn’t bring myself to fork over the cash, especially since I really wanted one for each of our boys to keep and eventually share with his family.
So I did what all insecure crafters do. I asked around to see if someone like me, with the most basic sewing skills, could make one. Then, I bought felt and kept it tucked away in my closet for a few years to see if I could build up the courage to begin.
The courage never came, but Mama and my middle sister did.
So I did what all youngest children do. I asked them to help me make three calendars while they were here visiting. (And just to be clear: By “help me,” I meant do most of the cutting, the sewing and the decorating.)
There was a Christmas tree for Jessie, followed by a snow-themed calendar for Benjamin and a red steam engine, 23 cars and a caboose for Colt.
I’m not sure who was most excited to see the calendars go up – me or Colt. He visited his calendar time and time again throughout the day, peeking inside the cars and turning the buttons that once belonged to his great-grandma and now serve as makeshift wheels for his train.
The next day, when the gifts and candy were added, his interest doubled at least. He discovered a candy cane that he really wanted to eat right away and white pompoms I had planned to be used for an indoor snowball fight.
“Is it Christmas yet?” he asked after an episode of Paw Patrol.
“Is it Christmas yet?” he asked his dad in the kitchen. “Is it Christmas yet?” he asked me as he left his dad and walked through the door to the dining room.
“It’s so hard to wait,” he said, his 4-year-old brain straining to understand the same thing my 42-year-old brain struggles with.
It can be hard to find joy in the waiting, but even when we can’t see things happening, God is working and light is on its way.
Christmas – and all its gifts – are coming.
Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter (@MarkettaGregory).