Saturday 2 December 2017

Advent Challenge

Another of my favourite sites at this time of the year is the Bible Society Advent Challenge.  This is an Advent calendar for thoughtful grown-ups with maybe a bit of help from children.

Each day there is a Bible thought but there are also caring actions.  This could be as simple as letting someone in ahead of you when you are driving, doing a bit of litter picking, or buying someone a bunch of flowers.  Each day there are three suggested actions to choose from.  I have to admit that occasionally none of the suggested actions is suitable for me but I substitute with actions like visiting a lonely person or donating to a food bank.

This year there are also craft activities.  (There may have been crafts in previous years but I don't remember.)  There are models to cut out and make each day for children to build their own nativity set - just print the sheets, add colour and glue and there you are!

Space travel

The last century has seen huge advances into outer space with missions being sent high above the earth to find out what happens up there.  Most of the information which these mighty craft send back is far too difficult for me to understand.

However, there is one extra terrestrial mission which has been going on for several centuries and in which I take a keen interest.  On just one night a year men and women, girls and boys, have gazed up into the heavens in the hope of seeing a string of reindeer pulling a huge sleigh full of presents and a jovial gentleman wearing a highly unusual red flying suit.

The great thing is that recent advances in technology have made it possible for us to see that stout gentleman in his cosy suit as he goes about his business.  Although his sleigh travels faster than the human eye can see it, photographic advances mean that special cameras high in the sky can trace his path and take special footage which can be slowed down for us to see.  Satellites enable his course to be followed with great accuracy.

The agency responsible for tracking Santa is NORAD (The North American Aerospace Defense Command) and although most of their work is highly secret they share their Santa knowledge with anyone who cares to visit to their Santa Tracker (hover for a link).  From early December they make available archive footage of Santa's journeys in previous years, they have a free on-line Advent Calendar of games to help train Santa watchers and lots of useful information about him.

This Frugally Challenged Santa Follower thanks everyone at NORAD for this chance to expand her knowledge  and she recommends their website to all her readers.