As far back as I can remember, the countdown to Christmas started with the first Sunday of advent & the lighting of the first candle in the advent wreath. Different churches, different wreathes but the same ritual. Our present church doesn't have a lot of ritual or an advent wreath but we're reminded that Christmas is coming by the celebrations planned.
Back home we had calendars &, in later years, a candle. We were never able to keep up with the burning and it used to be a race to catch-up & have just a stump left on Christmas eve.
Our countdown? This year it's making arrangements and trying to finish all the presents in time. No calendar or candle for me this year. December seems to have crept up on us all of a sudden & the new year will arrive before we know it!
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