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?

28 comments

Shannon said...

The only popcorn I associate with Christmas is the tri-flavored kind that comes in a big Christmas tin. My grandmother always bought one... always stale the day you open it, yet you munch on it all through the holiday anyway! Sorry your Santa adventure didn't pan out as hoped!

Cindy said...

My husband has dreamed of having a big popcorn popper for so long! He'd go nuts if Santa offered the whole machine!

Emmy said...

That is too funny. I must admit though, I want one of those too :)

Jen said...

Ah yes! This TOO has happened to us. EXACTLY as you have described! Luckily, Santa delivered a much smaller, yet fully functional version to our house that year. MUCH smaller, and I believe he shops at home depot for them. ;-) Has been great additional entertainment for movie night. Maybe the elves like popcorn?

LMP said...

That's so funny!!!!
I took my 7 year old to visit Santa 2 weeks ago. When Santa asked him what he wanted, he replied by saying diamonds and gold. When Santa asked if maybe he would like some toys instead he said "No, I don't want any crap".
They snapped the picture and we left after that.

kristina said...

My kids saw one of those popcorn machines at Sams Club and they've wanted one ever since.
When we go to see Santa at the mall I hope he's prepared to answer questions like, "Are you the real Santa?", "Where are your reindeer?", and "How do you remember everything every kid said?"

Dalton Dorné said...

Too funny, its basically the world's oldest trick to surround Santa with 'potential gifts'.

At what age do kids STOP being scared of the mall Santa? And really, does that show us that their instincts are in fact pretty good?

Courtney said...

This year, we are opting out of going to visit Santa. Instead, we found one who will come to OUR house. It's only $25 and we can snap all the pictures we want. Much cheaper than the mall- and no lines.

Bear and Bones Mama said...

My kids are refusing to visit Santa this year. This is disappointing to me, because I like the pictures. Even the crying ones. My 5 year old has said that if we go see Santa he will yell and scream and hit him. Um, yeah.

Heidi said...

You have such a way of telling a story, I love it.
We went to see Santa a few weeks ago at a mall. There was this charming little train that went round and round Sant's velvet throne. Well my kids wanted to ride the train before they sat on Santa's lap so we did. Then we waited in line and sat on Santa's lap. Then after my kids had a wonderful conversation with him we went to leave and my three year old daughter ran out of the fenced in area and nearly (like inches) got hit by the train as it made it's way around it's track. I've never seen Santa yell before.

Sarah said...

The kids only get to sit on santas lap at the ward Christmas party...so unless they're asking for a Christus statue (which would be fine with me) there isn't much option for large objects of our affections.

Diane said...

We saw Santa this weekend and I had to bribe my 14 year old to be in the picture. I wonder if he will do it next year?

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

Not any exciting trips to Santa, besides you run of the mill screaming and crying and being afraid--all three of my girls. That was the year we stopped my husband's tradition of the yearly photo with Santa.

Malea said...

My five year old recently told him that he knew he was a fake, but to do him a solid and pass along the message of what he wants to the real one.

likeschocolate said...

I think it is a rip that you have to pay for the pictures before you get them. I have a handful of not so great photos now.

Too Many Hats said...

Hahaha - your boys sound like mine - cannot keep a secret.

Emily Heizer said...

Yesterday, I took Amelia and Toulouse on their first visit to meet Santa. I had Amelia in her carrier, since she had never been out in public before, and Toulouse got to walk. Much crying, laying on the floor, hiding behind displays and finally hissing later, I threw everyone back in the car and went home. We never made it within 50 feet of Santa.

The negative Santa experience is universal- even with felines.

Crystal said...

Ha ha! I love it! I bet my kids would have done the same thing, they love popcorn LOL

Vesper said...

Just ran across your blog. SUPER FUNNY! Look forward to reading more : )

Momfever said...

That's funny. I don't think this particular had children of his own, or he wouldn't have asked that particular question!!

The Payne Family said...

My son is terrified of Santa. We can't even walk by him at the mall without a sudden case of panic. Not so great for the other parents and kids, but it makes for great Christmas card photos.

Ann said...

Very fun!!

No crazy Santa stories I can remember, but last year at the Easter Bunny, after visiting with him for a minute my middle son (4 yrs old) hopped of his lap and said to me (in not so quiet tone) "That rabbit smells nasty and it's not even real!" huh?? crazy kids...

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

I had to bribe my son with about ten snacks to get him to sit on Santa's lap (age six). I wish the popcorn machine had been closer ... would have helped my cause. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

AlsoMean said...

No Santa yet, maybe the last week when I have everything else done!!
My kids associate popcorn with any weekend afternoon where they are hanging out with Daddy in front of the TV.
Our Advent calendar is from Lego (via Grandma). My son will voluntarily read to his little sister from the children's bible in order to be able to open the next little door. He does think there may a Lego baby Jesus behind door 24. I think not.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

We went to a holiday party last year and my friend's nanny's 24-yr old boyfriend (got that?) dressed up as Santa. We're pretty sure he was stoned.

Deirdre said...

My son, who is now 7, still refuses to go visit Santa. He is willing to walk past the booth in the mall and wave, but not even for the free candy cane will he go near and say a word. I wonder if popcorn would do it . . .

Casey said...

Last year my (then) 8 year old was scared to death of the mall Santa and wouldn't go within 50 feet of him, my (then) 3 year old looked stunned and wouldn't say a word the whole time just stared wide eyed at the man, and my (then) 2 year old screamed as if she were being murdered right there in the mall AND someone was pulling her hair...at the same time. The picture is priceless and is right on our mantle :) I'm hoping this year's is just as blackmail worthy.

Evie B. said...

I have the same avent calendar and it has all doors attached. Do you want it? Really, I'm getting rid of it.