11.30.2007

Let’s Make it Advent to Remember

There are only 25 days left until Christmas. Yes, I count them. It all stems from the fact that as kids, we had this great advent calendar that my Aunt Sara made. It is a big felt tree with all the days on the side and as each day goes by, you get to put an ornament on the tree. Day one was always the star and Day 25 was always a Santa Claus with a pack on his back. My brother would get the odds and I would get the evens, but we always split the star and Santa between us, because they were the coolest ones. We loved that tree! Tomorrow is the first of the month and if I was home, I would probably be fighting over the star with Matt. However, I am not home, so Mom gets to fight over the star with Dad now instead.

The advent calendar gives you a heightened sense of anticipation, which is a huge part of the fun of Christmas. If it were only about the one day, it would not be nearly as fun. It is about the frosty air, the snow, the mistletoe, the Christmas cards, the decorating, the spending money, buying gifts, imagining people loving the gifts…It is about Christmas movies and songs and general joy. I know, I sound like a giddy schoolgirl, but my mother taught me that it is not all about the presents, that it is about a feeling. And also, I am a giddy schoolgirl. That is what Christmas is!

Sometimes it is hard to remember the giddy feeling. When I worked at Nordys, we really got sick of Christmas. The decorations went up Thanksgiving Day. The cheesy Christmas music played on a continuously looped track all day every day. The shoppers were annoyed and frustrated and annoying and frustrating. The traffic was horrible. The tourists were ooohing and aahing and walking oh so slowly as they gawped at the gaily decorated Macy’s shop windows. We opened at 6. We closed at 11. We got no sleep and no time to do our own Christmas shopping, and even if we did, we couldn’t get inside any of the stores because of all the people in the way. Oh it made me want to go home and get in bed and forget it all. It made me crazy sometimes.

However, I am in a better place now; I’ve finished my Christmas shopping (a lot of it online – thank God for the internet) I have sent cards, I have decorated, I have spent money and now I am ready to put the Muppet Christmas Carol on and sing along like a giddy schoolgirl.

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