Sunday, December 4, 2011

When Atheists Yearn for Advent

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on my theology blog about my atheist friend who found herself yearning for Advent.  And so, she planned a little Advent party and enlisted my help.

Yesterday was our Advent party day.  We planned to make lots of cookies and some wreaths.  We thought about singing together--maybe in German, maybe in English.  I even thought about making an Advent calendar, after a week where we exchanged e-mails talking about our Advent calendar memories.  My German friend thought the Advent calendar an obscure, mostly dead German custom, but she was floored to learn how many of us had spent our childhood Decembers opening those little doors.

Well, the Advent calendar will have to wait for another day.  We ended up concentrating on cookies.  We made some and decorated some.

One of our group members baked lots of cookies ahead of time and provided decorations.  We had a great time.

You'll notice the friend who made cookies in advance at the back of this picture as she uses her professional decorating tools.

But others of us took the whimsical approach:

Can you find the dreidel cookie above?  Can you find the Bollywood cookie below?

You'll notice that the cookies above and below have eyes made from red hots.  And I awake this morning with a case of pink eye!  No, it's not cosmic justice from the great cookie gods.  Some of my family members came home from Thanksgiving with not only a cold, but pink eye!  And now, it appears to be my turn.  Sigh.

Yesterday was loads of fun.  It made me wonder why we only do these things once a year.  I'm not suggesting that we celebrate Christmas year-round--but what other childhood customs could we recreate as adults to bring us joy?


Wendy said...

My kids like to make and decorate cookies any time. This may be too literal, but maybe you could start a tradition of making rolled cookies whenever your nephew visits.

Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

I love that idea! Or just to nourish my own inner 5 year old and make rolled cookies for various holidays. Let's see, I have a heart shaped cookie cutter and a bunny shaped cookie cutter, and I could use Christmas stars for July 4.

Thanks for the suggestion!