Starbucks is selling an “Advent Calendar.” It includes 25 little tins, each of which has a caramel inside — except one, which has a Starbucks gift card inside. They can call it an Advent Calendar, but I beg to differ. Here are the top five reasons this is not actually an Advent Calendar. Add others, if you’d like.
5. Advent is about waiting. This product is about daily gratification. Every day, you get a treat. Every day, you win. Every day, life is sweet. Advent is about the existential reality of waiting for a long, long time for what is promised and having it surprise you when it actually arrives. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Longer than you thought.
4. Advent is not sweet; it is savory. It is a penitential season, when one is meant to fast, reflect, prepare one’s heart for the good news and the “sweetness” of Christmas. This product offers caramels every day. Advent is not caramel/sweet.
3. Advent is about what is coming but not yet here. If it’s already in the house, already packaged and prepared, then it’s not what we’re waiting for.
2. Advent does not come with a “free $5 gift card.” It does not come with any gift cards, rebates, discount codes, or tax free weekends. It comes with quiet, pure, unvarnished, non-commercialized hope. It is a discipline, in the best sense of the word.
1. When you have finished with this Advent calendar, you are left with a collection of very cute magnetic tins. When you are finished with Advent, you are left with the incarnation of God. No equivalency.
Instead of buying an Advent calendar, try making one. Lots of ideas online for doing this. Or use one of the paperless, non-commercial Advent calendars online. But do me a favor: Don’t look for one yet. Advent doesn’t start till Dec. 1st. Why not relax and enjoy November/the end of the Christian year/Thanksgiving, etc? Just because Starbucks is geared up for Advent doesn’t mean you need to be.