Advent Calendar

An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count down and celebrate the days to Christmas. Consecutive windows of the calendar are opened, one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. Usually the windows open to reveal an image, poem, a part of a Christmas story or a small gift like a toy or chocolate.  




The 1st week of Advent (ad-vent, /'ad,vent/ , noun, the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.)

Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming".


1. Here's the first window of our Class of '63 Advent Calendar. Start feeling like a kid again, anticipate Christmas, and ... believe.

(To play the video again, click on the Refresh Button in the bottom left corner of the screen. You can also play any of the other videos displayed after "Believe" has ended, but "Believe" is the video intented for this window.)

2.  A Recipe for the Holidays - Texas Glazed Pecans



   1 egg white

   4 teaspoons water

   1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

   1 cup white sugar

   2 teaspoons cinnamon

   ¾ teaspoon salt

   1 pound pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

  2. Beat egg white in bowl until frothy; whisk the water and vanilla into the egg white. Stir the sugar, cinnamon, and salt into the egg mixture. Add the pecans; stir to coat completely. Spread the pecans onto the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Roast the pecans in the preheated oven, stirring about every 15 minutes, until the coating forms a glaze (about 1 hour). Allow to cool on the baking sheet before serving – if you can wait.


  1. I made about a pound of these pecans for Thanksgiving. They have a great “holiday flavor” and can make a nice present.

  2. If I can make them, then you know that it is a very simple recipe. Great for involving grandchildren.

  3. Prep time depends on whether or not you shell your own pecans. I did, and that took the longest time. Otherwise the prep will take about 10 minutes. You can try the recipe with brown sugar, and you can reduce the salt.

  4. The pecans won’t have a clear glaze. It’s more like a coating. Hope you'll like them as much as I do.

3. With all of the day to day activities and challenges, some of us might feel like Charlie Brown as we approach Christmas. What will it take to get as excited as Snoopy? Well, maybe not quite as energetic.


4. “To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world." 
~ Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), American president. Presidential message (December 25, 1927).” 

- Calvin Coolidge

5. “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” 
- Dr. SeussHow the Grinch Stole Christmas



Saint Nicholas

A 13th-century depiction of St. Nicholas from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai.
Main article: Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian withdowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.[7] He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity. In continental Europe (more precisely the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Germany) he is usually portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes.







It's the beginning of the second week of Advent.

We light a second purple candle on the second Sunday of Advent to represent the hope of Christ coming to the world.


Only 14 shopping days left until Christmas. If traffic jams and long check out lines are stressing you out, then take a few minutes and unwind with this beautiful song. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and let the peace and the anticipation of Advent come over you.

8. “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” 
Bob Hope



10. “Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall” 
? Larry Wilde

11. Today's calendar window is dedicated to the men and women in our U.S. Military Services.

Merry Christmas, My Friend 

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, 
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone. 

I had come down the chimney, with presents to give 
and to see just who in this home did live 

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, 
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. 
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand. 
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land. 

With medals and badges, awards of all kind, 
a sobering thought soon came to my mind. 
For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen. 
This was the home of a U.S. Marine. 

I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more, 
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door. 
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone, 
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home. 

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene, 
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine. 
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read? 
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed? 

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan. 
I soon understood, this was more than a man. 
For I realized the families that I saw that night, 
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight. 

Soon around the Nation, the children would play, 
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day. 
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year, 
because of Marines like this one lying here. 

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone, 
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home. 
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye. 
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry. 

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice, 
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice 
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more. 
My life is my God, my country, my Corps." 

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep, 
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep. 

I watched him for hours, so silent and still. 
I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill. 
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red, 
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head. 
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold, 
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold. 
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride, 
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside. 

I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night, 
this guardian of honor so willing to fight. 
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure, 
said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure." 
One look at my watch and I knew he was right, 
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

"Merry Christmas, My Friend" has been a holiday favorite among "leatherneckphiles" for nearly the time it takes to complete a Marine Corps career. Few, however, know who wrote it and when. Former Corporal James M. Schmidt, stationed at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., pounded it out 17 years ago on a typewriter while awaiting the commanding officer's Christmas holiday decorations inspection ... while other leathernecks strung lights for the Barracks' annual Christmas decoration contest, Schmidt contributed his poem to his section.




It's the beginning of the the Third Week of Advent

The Third Sunday of Advent  is known as Gaudete Sunday. This is taken from Philippians 4:4,5: "Gaudete in Domino semper" ("Rejoice in the Lord always").

On Gaudete Sunday, having passed the midpoint of Advent, the (Catholic) Church lightens the mood a little, and the priest may wear rose vestments. The change in color provides us with encouragement to continue our spiritual preparation for Christmas - especially prayer.

For the same reason, the third candle of the Advent wreath, first lit on Gaudete Sunday, is rose-colored.





17. Although this is not an Advent or Christmas poem, it is a small tribute to police officers and other first responders. I think they deserve our thanks as much as members of the military.


"A Police Officer's Prayer"

Lord, I ask for courage ~
Courage to face and conquer my own fears ...
Courage to take me where others will not go ...

I ask strength ~
Strength of body to protect others,
and strength of spirit to lead others ...

I ask for dedication ~
Dedication to my job, to do it well,
Dedication to my community, to keep it safe ...

Give me, Lord, concern for those who trust me,
and compassion for those who need me ...
And please, Lord, through it all,
be at my side ...


Author Unknown  



18. The Christmas Scale


The Story Behind The 12 Days Of Christmas Song

Contributed by: Gene Thompson

The song was written by Catholics in England as a catechism song to teach their children
about the Christian faith. The song's "gifts" help remember the teachings of the faith.

"True Love" refers to God.

"Me" refers to every Christian.

The other symbols mean the following:

1 Partridge in a Pear Tree = Jesus Christ

2 Turtle Doves = The Old & New Testaments

3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity or the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Trinity

4 Calling Birds = The Four Gospels

5 Golden Rings = First Five Books of the Old Testament

6 Geese-A-Laying = The Six Days of Creation

7 Swans-A-Swimming = The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:8-10)

8 Maids-A-Milking = The Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)

9 Ladies Dancing = The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)

10 Lords-A-Leaping = The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)

11 Pipers Piping = Eleven Apostles, not Judas

12 Drummers Drumming = The Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostle's Creed



Happy Hanukah/Hanukkah/Chanukah/Chanukkah/Chanukka

On December 16, Jews lit their menorahs for the first night of Hanukkah. Also known as the Festival of Lights, the Jewish holiday begins at sundown on Dec. 16 and ends the evening of Dec. 24. The eight-day holiday celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C., when Jews led by the Maccabees revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors.


Each night of the eight-day holiday is marked by giving gifts, eating latkes and lighting a candelabra, or menorah. While Hanukkah may be one of the best-known Jewish holidays, it's not the most important, nor does it bear much religious significance. In fact, the Hanukkah story isn't mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. It's described in the Book of Maccabees, which is omitted from the Old Testament.

In the United States and other Western nations, however, Hanukkah becomes a “Jewish Christmas” of sorts. According to a 2010 study, “The importance of Hanukkah among American Jews is driven by its proximity (in the time dimension) to Christmas,” Ran Abramitzky, Liran Einav and Oren Rigbi wrote in the study published in the Economic Journal. “Many American Jews use Hanukkah as a way to provide their children with an exciting alternative.”

More at 7 surprising things everyone should know about Hanukkah and at Hanukkah 2014: When Does The Jewish Holiday Start, 5 Things You Need To Know


It's the beginning of the the Fourth Week of Advent







Christmas Day