December 7, 2009
The Advent Calendar
I have an advent calendar; one of its doors is completely missing and two others are partially unhinged.
Every time I look at the object, I am overcome by the nagging suspicion that the calendar symbolizes my life in some deep way.
Last weekend, we filled each of the calendar's compartments with a slip of paper containing a different Christmas-related activity. Wednesday's paper told us to read The Night Before Christmas. On Thursday, we made cookies. On Friday afternoon, we wrapped several gifts for my husband and placed them under the tree. Three hours later, during dinner, my sons told my husband not to get his hopes up. "Unless you like church clothes, you're not going to be happy with your presents," they told him knowingly.
So much for the element of surprise.
The contents of Saturday's box instructed us to visit Santa at an outdoor shopping center. We found Saint Nick under a red-and-white striped tarp in front of a store that sells large robot dogs and other necessities. He was sitting on a velvet throne. Next to the throne was a large popcorn machine on wheels.
The relevance of the popcorn maker to holiday miracles eluded me, but made perfect sense to my children. Cortlen refused to sit on Santa's lap, as it obstructed his view of the object and its contents.
"What would you like for Christmas?" Santa asked him.
Cortlen shoved his Christmas list back into his pocket. Mouth agape, he pointed at the contraption.
"Do you want a bag of popcorn or the whole machine?" Santa asked, confused.
Cortlen didn't realize until that moment that there was an option.
"The machine! The machine!" he shouted. Dreams of popcorn on demand danced in his head.
"Thanks Santa," I replied.
In attempt to dissipate the mounting tension under the tarp, Santa's scantily-clad elf leaned in with peace offering, freshly popped and piping hot.
Any good tales from YOUR visit to Santa?