In Which I Start to Think I May Be Worrying About the Wrong Things
My kids have those chocolate Advent calendars from Trader Joe's, thanks to my generous friend Laura. We also have a cloth one, where we add one item per day to the manger scene, the last one, of course, being Jesus. This one is sweet and fun. But the chocolate ones stress me out.
First of all, there are FIVE of them. They take up too much space in my already too small house.
Second, my kids go rabid at the mere mention of chocolate. That's a lot of froth on a daily basis.
And third, the kids trash them with overzealous window ripping.
Last year, instead of having nice Advent calendars sitting neatly on the kitchen shelf, we had beaten up and bent cardboard shells, with the little cardboard windows ripped out and strewn all over the house. The kids were so rough with them that the chocolates ended up popping out of their holes and sliding around inside the cardboard, inducing panic and indignation in the opener. It was not a peaceful, pleasant part of the holiday season.
So this year, every time the kids go for their chocolates, I can be heard shouting things like: "BE GENTLE WITH THOSE! DON'T LEAVE THE CARDBOARD WINDOWS ALL OVER THE FLOOR! DON'T SHAKE THEM! KEEP THEM NICE!"
I told them I might stop saying that by December 15th, if they're lucky.
But really, what the heck is my problem? Why do I care if they destroy their candy calendars? I'll get them to clean up the little cardboard windows, but why am I obsessing about all the rest of it?
There are so many more worthy ways to spend my time during this season. I could use that energy wondering if I'll get Christmas cards out this year, or trying to glue back together all the broken tree ornaments, or figuring out where to stow all of the books and toys and crap we have piling up around here and that we want to get rid of or hide to make room for the guests we are hosting for Christmas dinner. I could be getting ready to pretend we have a pleasant, comfortable, organized, efficient home and instead, I'm wasting time trying to keep cardboard calendars in tip top shape. Ridiculous.
So henceforth, the Advent calendars are on their own. I'll be turning my attention to some other neurosis of mine.
* * *