From The Telegraph, we have a report of the usurpation of the chocky Advent calendar:

The chocolate advent calendar is falling out of fashion as shoppers buy up Lego calenders and make-your-own sets.

John Lewis today said its customers “seemed keen” to purchase alternatives with the Lego Friends advent calender one of the best-sellers over the past week.

Andrew Murphy, retail director, told The Daily Telegraph: “I wouldn’t say it’s the death of the chocolate advent calender but they have certainly passed their peak.

“Speaking as a Dad, there’s just chocolate at every turn now, and I think parents are feeling there’s going to be chocolate everywhere, they don’t really need it in a calender before breakfast.”

Lego Friends” Advent calendar?  Apparently, yes.

The Lego calendar costs £14.39 and contains tiny Lego gifts, allowing children to “build the holiday story” of Stephanie, a Lego Friends character, on her journey to a Christmas market.

Wait, the “holiday story” is all about “journeying” to a “Christmas market“?  Oh, dear.  Evidently, I’ve been reading the wrong books, because my understanding of Advent doesn’t really include anything having to do with commerce or consumerism.

Sigh.

Ol’ Robbo is not necessarily opposed to Advent calendars per se.  But he adamantly objects to such calendars when they serve no function other than as treat-laden count-downs to the Christmas morning deluge.   Advent, as I understand it, is something rayther resembling Lent, a time of abstinence and reflection.  In my experience, candy and treat-stocked calendars do nothing more than heighten the spirit of gimme-gimme-gimme.

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