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'No Room at the Inn' Advent Calendar is available from Amazon.co.uk. Please click the image for more information or scroll down the page to view more advent calendars.

Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming".

On the first day of Advent, Catholic families will set up an Advent wreath - a wreath of greenery adorned by a set of four candles - typically, three violet-coloured, and one rose-coloured to match the priest's vestments on each of the days the candles are lit. The wreath is either set upon a table (especially the dining room table), on the family altar, on pedestals, an end table, etc., or it can by suspended by ribbons from the ceiling, such as from a light fixture. The candles can be long, slim tapers, small votives, or fat pillars. There can be pinecones and such adorning the greenery, but because Advent is a penitential season, it shouldn't be highly decorated with colourful ornaments.

The circular shape of the wreath is a symbol of eternity, and the greenery symbolizes hope and renewal. The colours of the typically-used violet and rose candles symbolize penance and joy, respectively.

The most common observance of Advent outside church circles has been the keeping of an advent calendar or advent candle, with one door being opened in the calendar, or one section of the candle being burned, on each day in December leading up to Christmas Eve. In many countries, the first day of Advent often heralds the start of the Christmas season, with many people opting to erect their Christmas trees and Christmas decorations on or immediately before 1st. December.

The Advent wreath with four candles and the four candles story are a perfect match for Christmas time.
Please enjoy the video.

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Siphiwo Ntshebe was one of the truly great voices of the new South Africa, and travelled an extraordinary journey, from an impoverished upbringing set against the backdrop of apartheid-era South Africa to singing opera in prestigious international venues in front of royalty and world leaders. With a repertoire including arias by Mozart, Puccini and Verdi, Sip's tenor voice has been compared to the great Enrico Caruso.

He recorded South Africa's theme song for the World Cup 2010, entitled "Hope", a rousing and inspirational piece featuring the recorded spoken word of Nelson Mandela. Mandela chose Ntshebe to perform at the opening ceremony of the World Cup. Ntshebe's wildest dreams were about to be realised. His wonderful song, voice, personality and story would have lit up the world at the start of a monumental month for South Africa.

Tragically, on 25 May 2010 just seventeen days before the opening ceremony, Ntshebe died of meningitis.
The album 'Hope', produced by legendary producers Trevor Horn, Steve Mac and South African born Lebo M includes the enduring classics "Something Inside So Strong", "You'll Never Walk Alone", "Abide With Me", "I Vow to Thee My Country" and "Ave Maria". This is an album to cherish and can be purchased here (Amazon.co.uk) or here (Amazon.com).

In memory of 'Lucky, Sherry, Bigsy & Simba'

Copyright © Norma Kearton 2000 - 2017