My Adventskalender in Germany made
Of paper and glitter has Heaven displayed
Through twenty-four windows. Come open with me
Each miniature vision of things heavenly.

Behind the first window are rabbits who dance.
The second, a glittering snowflake enchants,
And third, there’s a cat lying down with a mouse
Behind the fourth window, a gingerbread house.

On opening five, a droll chariot lifts.
The sixth is the day for the old Saint with gifts.
His pack holds the seventh, beribboned, a pet.
Number eight is an apple and not bitten yet.

At nine we find sisters with cookies to bake.
Their brothers at ten skate across the wide lake.
Eleven’s a choir wrapped up to their noses,
And twelve is a knight and a Lady with roses.

December thirteenth, Scandinavian girls
Lay wreaths holding candles upon their bright curls.
At fourteen, they knock at a cottage aglow
Where good folk set out for the church down below.

Stained glass in the window bears fifteen; we find
A pageant in progress, a child’s Palestine.
The Bethlehem star is ablaze at sixteen
O’er monarchs at seventeen kneeling between

The ox at eighteen and at nineteen, the ass.
Let’s stop for a moment, we’re going too fast.
For twenty reveals lovely Mary at prayer;
I would like to be quiet and kneel with her there.

As Joseph stands by us beneath twenty-one,
His lantern as constant and bright as the sun,
A Baby behind twenty-two seems to be
A doll to be played with by poor you and me.

Behind twenty-three, proof that angels are real.
The last is a Child whose wounds have been healed!
The twenty-fourth window, just open and see,
His cross come to life as a green Christmas tree!

Oh, see how He beckons us children to enter
Our heavenly home in the Adventskalender!



Once a high school Spanish teacher, Theresa Zappe is now a home educator in New York.  She and her husband are much occupied with math, meals, science, soccer games, sentence diagrams, dirty dishes, Latin, and laundry.

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2 Responses

  1. Julian D. Woodruff

    Lovely! And so much in tbe spirit of those Adventskalender. It reminds me of tbe hymn Vom Himmel hoch, especially as set and so dazzlingly varied by Bach.
    Thanks for my first prezent of the season!

    • Avery Miller

      Thank you for the kind comment. I’m delighted with the photo that was chosen to accompany the poem. It is just the sort of Advent calendar that I had in mind. The Christkind as a gift bringer is very interesting to me, as is the Jesulein in many German illustrations.


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