Of all the multitude of things I loved about Christmas as a kid, one of my favorites was – and still is – the Advent calendar.
I’m talking about those single page, cardstock calendars that count down the 24 days from December 1st until Christmas Eve. (I’ve never been sure why it doesn’t go all the way to Christmas Day, but since Christmas Eve was when our family opened gifts, it made sense at the time.)
The one we had when I was little featured perforated windows scattered around the illustration, so we’d have to hunt for each day when it arrived, then open that one to see a drawing inside, usually with a picture of a typical Christmas toy or decoration, or a stanza from “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” (Back then I didn’t know that wasn’t the original title of the poem.)
Nowadays, these windows might contain chocolates or little toys, and the calendar could be made of wood or felt in all shapes and sizes. But to me, the cardboard ones are the only “real” ones.
They are still a favorite Christmas tradition of mine. In fact, last week I sent Advent calendars to a close group of family and friends for the 39th year in a row. (I know how long it’s been because I have a dated list, to be sure no one gets the same one twice.)
But in those early Christmases, my brother and I never knew there was more than one style in existence. Probably because my family was rather frugal, our mom kept bringing out the same one every December 1st. We didn’t care; we were happy just to open those same windows year after year, even after half of the little windows had torn off from all the wear and tear.
Years later, when my wife Vicki and I spent our very first Christmas together, we each surprised the other with a new Advent Calendar. I think she was the first person I ever met who had also grown up with them (though her family was rich, so she probably got a different new one each year).
I’m pretty sure discovering that we both loved the custom, and a host of other Christmas traditions as well, was one of the reasons we were together so long.
I’m sharing all this nostalgia with you now because I’ve been thinking a lot about the countdown to the approaching holidays, and how it’s a time of preparation for what’s to come.
Growing up Catholic, I first heard the word “advent” at Mass, when Sundays were designated by its commemoration: “The First Sunday of Advent,” “Second Sunday of Advent,” etc. For Christians, it’s a period celebrating the arrival of Christ.
More universally, the dictionary definition of advent is: an arrival; a coming into a place, view or being.
As I always do around this time of year, I think a lot about what lies ahead, what’s coming into view for the holidays and the arrival of the new year.
So if it’s OK, I’d like to briefly share some of what I have in mind for myself, and for you, for the coming year – the events and opportunities I want to unfold over the next few weeks and months.
You’ll get the details for all of these as they crystallize and become reality. But as you’ll see, they all have two things in common:
- They’ll provide more opportunities for all of us to transform people’s lives through the power of great storytelling.
- And they’re going to be fun.
- More newsletters, videos, interviews and programs for mastering storytelling
- More live presentations; onstage and virtual
- An in-depth examination of what I regard as “A Perfect 60-Second Story”
- New coaching packages for multiplying your impact and income through Hollywood storytelling, including…
- A heavily discounted New Year offer for choosing and developing the best stories for growing your business and financial success
- A deeper dive into my approach to The Hero’s INNER Inner Journey, and how it connects to new ideas I’m exploring about our subconscious mind (primarily through Russell Brunson’s Secrets of Success membership and mastermind program)
- Expanding my Hollywood StorySelling Master Class to provide more opportunities for direct interaction and feedback
- Asking for your help with surveys designed to determine exactly the help you want and need for all aspects of your storytelling, so I can create…
- New courses for specific areas of storytelling for business, film and fiction, as well as…
- A new membership site of my own
- And finally, partnering on special events with experts and entrepreneurs I work with, have fun with, and deeply admire.
I hope you’ll join me on this next chapter of our Story Mastery journey.
And have fun counting down the days toward the advent of your new year.
Stay In Your Essence –