I have owned an Advent calendar for about twenty years. I bought it when my oldest children were toddlers. It is very kid-friendly. It is made of colorful cloth and has a large Christmas tree at the top and below there are numbered pockets for the friendly, puffy characters of Christmas to reside in before they are placed on the Christmas tree by way of their Velcro laden backs. It has always been the highlight of the parade of days leading up to Christmas for all six of my children. Tony 7, and Sabrina 5, are the latest of my children to be enamored with the Advent calendar. When I bring out the Christmas boxes it is the first thing to be searched for and retrieved.
This year when I was sorting through the other Christmas decorations, Sabrina was sitting on the floor happily playing with the figures from the Advent calendar. At one point she stopped and looked perplexed.
“Mommy, where’s the baby?”
“Not again!” was my despairing cry.
Baby Jesus had gone missing again. I could never understand how the only Christmas decoration that ever seemed to disappear was baby Jesus. Everything else stayed safely packed in the designated Christmas boxes and waited patiently for almost a year before they were unpacked again. They would always be there year after year, except baby Jesus. This did not happen every year, but it has happened often enough to be a disturbing trend. How can you have an Advent calendar without baby Jesus? Or a nativity scene for that matter? One year our Nativity scene baby Jesus was a no-show. I ended up buying a replacement. I could not find the same brand, but the new baby Jesus seems to blend in fine and fits nicely in the cradle.
The funniest place that I found our calendar baby Jesus was in the refrigerator months later. (This is not your cue to make snide comments about how long it takes me to deep clean my refrigerator.) One of my kids as a four year old had placed him there for some reason that neither he nor I can fathom. Luckily, that year my mother was on hand and sewed us the most adorable replacement baby Jesus. After we found the refrigerator stowaway we actually had two baby Jesuses for a few years. Some years he is right where he should be. Other years he somehow gets mixed in with the wrong crowd of decorations.
This year he is missing again. Our house is decorated with Christmas festiveness, but I will need to go get back into those boxes and search harder through the rejected and extra pieces of Christmas cheer contained therein. This is because baby Jesus is the most important part of Christmas, or our lives, for that matter. Much of the time he is in the midst of our festive and sparkling life decorations. But if he is not there, the other ornaments lose their brightness and he is surely missed. If he turns up missing, it’s time to go search those mental boxes and find him and put him back in the center of your Life Celebration where he belongs. Surely he does you no good being stuck in the proverbial refrigerator for months banished from your life festivities. Wish me luck finding my Baby of Brightness!
I wish you all a blessed and happy Christmas season.