Illustrated image for article Advent - moments of peace and tranquillity!

Advent - moments of peace and tranquillity

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Christmas is coming up so fast. I'll admit without torture that I'm not exactly the celebrating type. I celebrate when I feel like it, not when it's official. I only bake candy in self-defense, but luckily I have a friend who always brings me some of that candy. I clean up after New Year's Eve when there is no longer any increased movement of people in the house, and therefore no potential danger of another binge.


Our grandmother is the opposite and always looks forward to Christmas. And since this year she has become such an unplanned and unofficial mascot of the "Living Bethlehem" event, I'm indulging her in a cultural experience and attending with her all the Advent Sundays organized in our beloved town this year.

I've even tried to educate myself about it, so as not to be a total ignorant. I'm not going to go into all the details of this tradition here, but the point of this custom is basically to be a general calming down, fasting and further preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ.


I took the liberty of translating it for myself into understandable language for us atheists. We are supposed to calm down, tune in to the upcoming Christmas holiday, clean up, bake cookies, and not eat too much to fit it all in. The candles will help us create a cozy atmosphere, and each candle will remind us that time is running damn fast to get everything done. 


The first Sunday is ironclad. It's a reminder that the day of the birth is coming and that if we haven't already started preparing and cleaning up, we'll be having a honeymoon. 

The second Sunday is bronze. Work is in full swing and we are to be careful to love each other and not argue about not keeping up. 

The third Sunday is silver. The time when we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're baked, but no one's allowed to touch it yet. However, it is a harbinger that Christmas Eve is really coming and we will soon be stuffing our bellies.

The fourth Sunday is the last. We're in the home stretch. Sometimes this Sunday falls on Christmas Eve. That's the better option because we just have to keep fasting until the evening and we'll see the golden pig unless another, mischievous pig shows up at home during the day. For those cases, it's better to save the rum until the evening.


If we've done all that, just make a salad, fry some carp, some schnitzels, some wine sausage... and then physically incapacitate yourself before the gift-giving.

After the presents are opened, it's my moment. Christmas begins for me. My dishes are washed and cleaned, no one wants anything, and I can lie back and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Beautiful.

One year later, Christmas is here again, Hallelujah Gloriaaaa...

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Background Photo of the author Hana Vondráčková!
Picture of the author: Hana Vondráčková!

Hana Vondráčková

Kostelec nad Labem, Czech Republic

Writing is a therapy for my aching soul and a bit of an escape from reality....

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