Beyond Chocolate Into Advent I Oxford Open Learning

Beyond Chocolate Into Advent

Advent And Its Deeper Spirit

Advent is a period associated by many with the daily ritual of opening a chocolate-filled calendar door. However, a deeper, more profound spirit exists behind this tradition.

The word Advent is derived from the Latin word “adventus“, meaning “coming” or “arrival,” and is a period of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Beyond the visceral excitement of counting down the days with chocolate treats, office parties, shopping, and light shows, it is a prompt for us to reflect on the spiritual significance of this season.

Despite its more secular contemporary nature, the Advent calendar, a popular and cherished tradition, serves as a tangible reminder of the passing days leading up to Christmas. However, religious-themed calendars that tell the nativity story day by day, remain popular and offer a clearer connection with the original spirit of the period.

Calendar, Nativity, Solstice

Advent can be a gift allowing us time to embrace the nativity story and take joy in the ordinary moments of our lives. Beyond the material gifts exchanged during the festive season, the true essence of it lies in the gift of time which can be spent in reflection, in prayer, (if you are religious), in nature, and in connection with others.

The weekly or daily lighting of Advent candles, (optimally mounted within a Wreath) each representing different virtues such as hope, peace, joy, and love, further underscores the spiritual journey of this season. These candles serve as beacons of light in the darkness, symbolising the growing anticipation of the coming light of Christ.

The Advent period also intersects with the winter solstice on/around the 21st December, a pagan tradition that sees people gather at dawn at historic sites like Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle to celebrate the shortest day.

In conclusion, while chocolate-filled Advent calendars undoubtedly bring joy, their true magic lies in the opportunity they present to delve into the deeper spirit of the season.

Advent at its core is a time of spiritual connection, preparation, reflection, and making deeper social connections that enable us to transcend the commercial ideology of the festive season.

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I am a practising HR consultant working with several start-ups on an ongoing and ad-hoc basis in the London and M4 area, and am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or CIPD. I am the Director of; is a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, small business advice articles, HR software reviews, and contains great resources such as HR Productivity Apps.

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