Below are some wonderful finished Advent calendars from people who sent them to me. If you have stashed your calendar somewhere with the idea that Advent and Christmas are over, pull it out again. As an Advent/Christmas/Epiphany Extremist I encourage you to keep your finished calendars (and all of your other Christmas things) within eyeshot until at least January 6–the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Church celebrates the arrival of the magi/kings at the manger. The calendars are a reminder of our entrance into a whole New Church Year and of the hope we carry with us with the birth of Jesus.
The candle template for these calendars was created by Linda S. (I love the idea and hope she will send me a version to share for Advent 2016.) The two calendars were drawn by Linda and her adult daughter J. They sat at the same table and encouraged each other in the daily process.The beautiful one on the left was completed by Linda incorporating both words and designs. The amazing wordless version on the right was drawn by J. Linda and I shared some conversation about how some days our drawings are a disaster or are just plain bizarre. (Notice the “winking frog” day.) Linda says, “I think that is an important lesson of the journey: each day may present challenges or unexpected outcomes, but when viewed within the context of the entire journey offer texture, humor, new directions, etc. The trick is letting go of the “perfect” expectation and becoming more comfortable with unforeseen results.”
Last year during Advent 2014 Linda and J worked together on two calendars swapping them each day. I loved the idea; it seemed like a real letting go of the ownership of the calendar.
Here are two calendars by friends Connie and Cindy.
The calendar on the left is from Connie Denninger and celebrates the Gifts of Advent. Her blog is called Vintage Grace. Connie leads workshops and retreats on all sorts of visual prayer. The template she used was created by Pat Maier.
The calendar on the right is from Cindy O. Cindy was the person who gave me permission to doodle back in the 20th century. Her calendar includes words and drawings from the traditional Advent vocabulary. Advent introduces us to, not just words of a single season, but to the vocabulary of the Christian faith throughout the year. Cindy’s blog is Mostly Markers. She details the kinds of paper and markers/pens she uses–a great site for doodlers, artists, and crafters. Look at her December 28 post. It is a patchwork of all the different kinds of candles she has drawn on her Advent calendars for the past seven years.