The Advent Calendar Argument


Oh GOOD! It’s advent again…

Time to wheel out the age-old tradition of arguing with your children about which advent calendar they’re not going to get.  Whichever one it is.

I probably should have gone down the smug mother route of hand-making my own wooden/embroidered/hand-thrown-pottery version many years ago when they were little, and then that would be THE advent calendar.  But then you have to go to the fiddly faff of hand-filling 24 pockets with 24 handmade little treats, so maybe not.

Up until a few years ago I would reveal two basic model, card advent calendars with pictures behind windows and my two children would go wild with excitement.   Then, one year, in a moment of weakness, I gave in to mounting consumer pressure and bought them Lego advent calendars, and that was the end of the card calendars.

After that the chocolate-filled ones were the MINIMUM acceptable offering, and while I’m not the strictest mother in the world with their diet, cheap chocolate on empty little stomachs every morning didn’t sit particularly comfortably.

As it happens, my mother happens to think along similar lines (funny that), and on cue, arrived at our house recently with a vast, practically life-size, very traditional, card advent calendar.  The children could barely disguise their disgust, but thankfully just about managed to retain their manners to thank her.

Later, in recognition of their self-control in the face of such disappointment, I kindly offered my daughter a chocolate calendar as well.  ‘No, that’s OK, Mummy,’ she replied calmly.  I couldn’t quite believe my ears and replied happily, ‘Oh well, we’ll just have the card one then.’  ‘NO!’, shouted my nine-year-old, outraged, ‘I want a makeup one.’

Thus followed an in-depth ‘discussion’ on the nature, point and origin of the festival of advent and Christmas, which included such conversational gems as:

Me: ‘Who’s birthday are we ACTUALLY celebrating?’

Her: ‘Mrs Abbot’s.’ [a teaching assistant at her school]

Me: ‘What’s Christmas really meant to be about?’

Her: ‘Presents.’

 Me: ‘It’s actually about Jesus, who was about giving and love and looking after poor people.’

Her: ‘Well I only believe in Jesus when he was a baby, not when he was a grown up.’

Last year we had an advent candle.  I think I’ll stick to that.


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