Advent, Advent, Ein Lichtlein brennt …

It’s a free week … so my mind is in overdrive what I can come up with today for you to read!

This was my first attempt: November 25 is the 329th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 36 days remaining until the end of the year.

Not sure whether that would make you come back next week, though 😉

So I went to have a cup of tea and got distracted by having to go down the streets to get some shopping done. It was ridiculously busy and an eerie reminder that the “crazy” season has started. Ack!

With that in mind I’m sitting here again, thinking Christmas is approaching at a rapid speed.

This Sunday is the first of Advent! I love the tradition of having a small advent wreath with four candles. It’s on my to-do-list as it hasn’t been done yet. Shame on me. The following week is the Day of St Nicholas. When I was a kid we placed a sock or shoe outside the door on the eve of St Nikolaus Day, expecting him to bring lollies or even a small present. I remember telling about St Nikolaus to a Prep class up in Brisbane years and years ago. A little boy replied, “No wonder Santa hasn’t got any presents left by the time he gets to Australia.” It made me laugh. In North America, the  popular name Santa Claus was taken from the Dutch Sinterklaas, which  originated with a contracted form of Sint Nicolaas (Saint Nicholas). And the “Santa” as we know him nowadays is connected to Coca-Cola indeed. From memory, the red/white suit was used for some advertising during the 1930s.

And then it’s not long to go until Christmas. Yes, it does give me a small shiver, because I’m so not organised, it kind of freaks me out. Chaos is a foreign word in my daily life … except for the Christmas Season. Last year I did a Christmas Program on Radio andfour foxes had about twenty interesting facts about this time of the year, but as I said – chaos … I can’t find my piece of paper.
From memory though, here’s what I remember: The word “Christmas” comes from the Old English name “Christes Maesse,” which means “Christ’s Mass.” But more interestingly, because I had always thought that came from the laziness of people: The common abbreviation of Christmas to “Xmas” is derived from the Greek alphabet. “Chi,” the first letter of Christ’s name in the Greek alphabet, is written as “X.”. Go figure!

Are you prepared for the Christmas season?

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About Iris B

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as her dog. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio
This entry was posted in Australia, authors, childhood, Family, Holiday, Life, Random thoughts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Advent, Advent, Ein Lichtlein brennt …

  1. jeff7salter says:

    Yes, the jolly figure of St. Nick which has become the American standard was indeed the creation of a staff artist who had the Coke campaign many decades ago. Never questioned that it wasn’t “painted from real life” of the actual Santa. Ha. When I compare that image to the much earlier versions of what I call the “European” Nicholas … it’s quite startling.
    The Christmas season tends to drown me in extra stress — largely because I see so many frantic people spending so much energy, time, and money to meet so many unrealistic expectations of so many others. I know that sounds like humbug to some, but I’m just being honest. I long for a much simpler, more traditional celebration — without the hype and commercialism. But I’m not sure that’s possible anymore…

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    • Iris B says:

      Amen to that, Jeff. I couldn’t agree more. The hype, the thousands of Santas, the ads, it’s driving me insane! And it stresses me too that I can’t go shopping in peace and quiet.
      I wish people would remember it’s not about the qanitity of giving, but the quality, and as such it’s not so much about the giving, but the celebration of the birth. I’m sure 80% haven’t even considered that point. I’m not a religous person if I may say so, but I always tell my girls, the Christmas Eve service is a must if they want to celebrate the event.

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  2. It pops up on FB every year at this time “Keep the Christ in Christmas” or “Don’t X out Christ” and I politely tell all of them that X is the Greek symbol for the first letter of Christ’s name and universally accepted – it’s not “crossing out Christ”. Sigh… that’s my soap box! Expanding minds one FB post at at time! LOL. My tree is up and already has wrapped presents underneath! 🙂

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    • Iris B says:

      Hi Kate, nice to see you over here 🙂
      I have to admit, I thought it was the Australian laziness, because every word possible gets abbreviated here. I was surprised by the explanation and feel better now when I use the “shorter” term.
      As for the Christmas tree. In Australia it’s tradtion to set up the tree on teh 1 Dec, which I found hard to get used to, “back home” the tree was only put up on Christmas eve!

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      • Kate, I have already had to set people straight on the “Keep Christ in Christmas” by reminding people that “Happy Holidays” is NOT secular; “Holiday” means “Holy Day”. And if they think that screaming at store clerks who are instructed to wish patrons a “Happy Holiday” is a “Christian” act, they have it all wrong. I can’t see how any person who considers themselves “Christian” would not acknowledge that there are people of other religions and that wishing them, also, “Happy Holidays” is what they should do; set an example of kindness and love. Some people just stop thinking and start spouting off.

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      • Lol, I’ve decided that I like the tree being up right at the beginning of December! Of course, since we have always spent Xmas away from home, I always take the tree and decorations down before we leave. I don’t want to come home and then put everything away!

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  3. Thanks for all the interesting details, Iris! I’m trying to get organized here too. I have some cards to send, but need to find time to address them – and get the house ready for Thanksgiving, and THEN Christmas – I refuse to put up Christmas decorations until I’m done celebrating Thanksgiving. Only one holiday at a time for me!

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    • Iris B says:

      Good on ya, Patty! I’ve completely forgot about the cards 😦 Another thing I’ve got to do. As I mentioned above, the tree her will only be up on the 1st or the following w/end. Quite a different tradition to Germany, when we put up the tree on Christmas Eve.

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  4. Oh ,gosh,Iris,PLEASE! I am trying to make it to Thanksgiving the Thursday! I will give Christmas everything I’ve got AFTER this weekend,(OK, Sunday, for Advent). We have several radio stations that usually to Christmas music 24/7 on Thanksgiving evening, but they started on Nov.1st this year! Too much for me; the Christmas music will start Thanksgiving night here.

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  5. pjharjo says:

    You did a good job of filling in for your post on this month’s FREE week, Iris. 🙂 I learned a lot from it! Sorry it’s taken me awhile to reply to you, but I’m sure you can tell (by my post this week) I’ve been busy. phew… (I think I already said that.) LOL!

    I’m as ready as I’m going to be for CHRISTmas this year. It has always bothered me when people use the X instead of His name. I don’t care if it IS Greek for Christ; we were NOT Greek the last time I looked. 🙂 The X makes it too generic IMHO. Too many don’t know about Him or choose to ignore Him, and He IS the reason for the season. 🙂

    Good Job!

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  6. Pingback: Is God against Christmas? | Roti N Machali [The Bread and Fish]

  7. Pingback: advent 13 | Semi-Charmed Life

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