"3-2-1 or 1-2-3?" by Abby Brundage for CatholicMom.com Via Flickr (2009). All rights reserved.

Everyone loves a countdown. We count down to rocket launches, midnight at a New Year’s Eve party, the end of a nail-biter football game. Anticipation builds until you’re ready to burst! The same is true for Advent as we journey toward Christmas, especially for the little ones who are dreaming of what treasures might appear under the tree.

I came across a website a few days ago with the headline, “Advent - A Countdown to Christmas.” My first thought was that it’s pretty cool that this secular site recognized that it’s not actually Christmas until December 25th. Awesome! And then I got to thinking, do we count down to Christmas or do we count up and does it matter?

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I’d argue that we count up, or at least we should and that yeah, it matters. Think about it. If you’re counting down, at the end you get to zero. As you count up, you build and gain. Isn’t that what Advent is about? Building up anticipation and becoming more and more prepared? As we light the candles in the Advent wreath we gradually add more and more light and warmth (I love that simple symbolism).

I messaged a priest friend on Facebook and asked if this was a silly idea, anything worth digging into and he, of course, had much deeper thoughts than I!  He said,

In Advent, there is a sense of building to something. Advent is about building the fire of desire. God enters into our lives through desire. If there is no building to something, then we are not going anywhere and the goal of life is about just surviving. If history is going somewhere, then life is an adventure.

So that’s why it matters. That’s what we try to inspire our kids to do. Not just to count down to December 25th, but to build up the fire of desire for Jesus to enter our lives on Christmas Day and every day until we meet Him again. THAT is what makes life an adventure.

Read more articles in our 2016 Advent Guide.

Advent Guide 2016 (CatholicMom.com) Photo copyright Christine Marciniak. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2016 Abby Brundage