Archive for December 24th, 2006

The Advent Rip-Off

Every year when I was a kid, a few weeks before Christmas, my sister & I would get an Advent Calendar. It was most exciting. Why?

Because we were dumb maybe.

Advent Calendars, most know, are those things with little paper doors to be opened one per day from the first of December until Christmas Eve. Nowadays there is a Reason for kids to excitedly open those doors — a chocolate is tucked behind each.

But I grew up in the Stone Age. No chocolates behind the Advent Calendar doors back then — just a Christmas-related picture. A candle on December first. A wrapped gift on the 15th. A yule log thrown in there somewhere…

Though I can’t remember specifically, I feel certain that occasionally fists-thrown brawls erupted between my sister & I over who would open the Advent door that day.

Like I said we were dumb maybe. I’ve smartened up some since then. Today, I would not fight to open a door and look at a picture.

Chocolate, though — that’s worth fighting for. Kids are lucky these days.

Anyway, this all led up to something — the one with two paper doors that we got to open on Christmas eve.

Good golly — I wonder what’s behind it???

Can I get a drum roll please? No problem. The Little Drummer Boy showed up religously around the 22nd or 23rd every single year….

….And behind the Christmas Eve Double Doors:

Holy crap — It’s baby JESUS in the manger!!

Can you fucking believe it?

Yeah. But no chocolates. What a rip-off!

I need a therapist.

Why Loathe? I Have My Reasons.

I remember when I first realized that Christmas sucked. That I hated it and wanted it to die a horrible, painful death. Because it was so awful…

All of the presents were opened, and I was crying. Because I didn’t get a calender. Not that I needed one so terribly — and in fact I recall my grandmother attempted to assuage my grief by promising to buy me a calender the instant stores opened the next day. No matter. Nothing could ease my pain.

Why? There were reasons. Namely, I was young & confused. I always got a calender on Christmas. Never particularly gave a damn about it, I’m certain. My calender wasn’t super cool like a new Star Wars toy or anything. But when I didn’t get one, that year, I think it upset my sense of continuity. Made me feel like something was Wrong.

And there was something wrong. My mother was in the kitchen crying.

Why? Ostensibly because, after all she had done — and the effort she put in each Christmas was frighteningly monumental — her son was now throwing a temper tantrum around the Christmas tree because he didn’t get a stinking calender.

I’m not sure how old I was. But I guess I was just old, or wise, enough to realize that my mother was having a Christmas-induced nervous breakdown that everyone blamed on me. And I thought to myself:

This is BULLSHIT!!

And that was that. I’ve loathed Christmas ever since.