The Holiday of Advent: Consumerism and Learning to Re-Tell Time


In school my son has learned to measure time. In being taught this skill he has now been given another way in which to make sense of his reality.

This struck me the last time I went to Chicago for my studies. When I had left, my son asked my wife, “How long will daddy be away?” She replied, “He’s gone for a week.” At which point he went into his room and burst into tears. He understood what a “week” was and for a six-year-old a week can feel like an eternity.

This is juxtaposed to the previous trip where he asked the same question. Upon being given the answer he simply gave me a hug and went off to play. This occurred at a point where he did not have the conceptual tools to understand what a “week” was. It meant nothing to him. I could have said 1000 years and I would’ve received the same reaction.



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