The Common Good

How Did Advent Accelerate?

As a child I found no joy in an Advent calendar; all those little flaps and doors and bite-size pieces of chocolate signified nothing more than the fact that Christmas was still a really, really long time away. Especially as I got down to the last few doors, just a few days before the big event, time seemed to take on a pace as slow as molasses sucked through a straw. Admittedly, the coming of the Christ child was not what had me wound so tight. It was the portly fellow in the red suit who delivered untold delights on my living room floor that made the Advent season so terribly long. While the object of my desire may have been misdirected, the spirit of Advent was palpable. I was waiting for something big and it was taking a very, very long time to arrive.


How odd that the older we get, the faster Advent seems to fly by. Barely has the Thanksgiving turkey been devoured before we find that we're out of time to prepare for Christmas. There have been several years when I've realized that Christmas was a week away and I'd not yet put up a tree or even hung a wreath on the door. The units of time have not changed over the years; a minute is still 60 seconds, a day is still 24 hours. How is it, then, that Advent speeds past us when once it crawled along?


Perhaps it is because as adults when we want something we can usually find a way to get it without waiting very long at all. When we do have to wait longer than expected

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