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plate of Christmas cookies on Why Food an Feasting are Important to Advent post

Why Food and Feasting are Important to Advent

Advent stuffs the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas with parties, food, family, and friends, and the feasting really doesn’t end until the New Year has been ushered in with more food. You might say that Thanksgiving is the American introduction to the Advent season of feasting.

Food as a thread

Food is one of the threads that ties our life to the past and knits it securely to the present. Most of my fondest memories are cushioned in food. A whiff of cinnamon and nutmeg floods my senses and recollections of baking cookies with Grandma Bessie flash through my mind.

The smell of turkey connects with my emotions as I remember Dad teaching me how to properly baste a bird. “Baste every half hour. Remove the cheesecloth the last hour so it can brown, and don’t let the bird get dry.” Always with that memory, comes the feel of a house full of relatives and hours of playing with my cousins. Laughter and warmth are bookmarks of such memories.

Food as a celebration

“One of the very nicest things about life,” said Luciano Pavarotti, “is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Eating is a celebration of life and the blessings of God. Feasting is the highest form of such celebration.

Food as a reminder

Advent means “coming”—a month of remembering the coming of Christ on that long ago Christmas, a time of waiting as Christ comes and forms his image in us, and a time of waiting for his coming again to take us to the wedding feast (see Revelation 19:7-9). Food brings this all together and reminds us that because Jesus came, there is a great feast coming—the wedding supper of the Lamb.

I have a great fondness for food, and I’m pleased that God does too. “Feasting is a divine imperative,” says Joan Chittister. “It says, ‘Thou shalt not ignore the joys of life.’”

Food quiz:

  • What part does food play in your celebration of the Advent season?
  • How does food thread its way through your generations?

I’d love to hear your answers.

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Lilly Green

    Some of the foods that growing up symbolized Christmas, and in that, security, love, and tradition, have found their place in my home over the years. Like shortbread cookies, for example! But the conflict I have is that as I have come to be more conscientious about health, some recipes just don’t fit the bill. So I compromise. Instead of 3 or 4 batches of shortbread, I make one, and when it’s done, it’s done. Same with other goodies. I don’t want to steal the fun or tarnish the memories, but I don’t want to load my family up with transfats and other evil things either. 🙂 The there are some other healthy substitutes that start new traditions and remind everyone of how obsessive I can be!

    1. Susan Gaddis

      I find the same problem here, Lilly–how to compromise without guilt. I’ve added some of my own “sweets” made with stevia as I don’t cook up the traditional ones since I’ve removed the flour and dairy from my house. However, I have enough friends who give us plates of cookies as gifts to keep my men happy and the house overloaded with sweets. I do keep Christmas candy on hand for the grandkids and adult children who stop by. I guess I am learning to live in two worlds health wise. At least I don’t get tempted when I have my own “sweets” to nibble on.

  2. Diane Ramirez

    To me, food brings people together. There is nothing like sitting down to a delightful meal with people you love and having stimulating conversations, especially during a celebration.

    Food is a necessary substance for our bodies and combining that with the season ignites joy, comfort, and a sense of belonging.

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