Despite having spent almost $40 on advent calendars I am still being asked the question children have pestered parents with since red-velvet coats and flying reindeer were first conceived: "how many days until Christmas?"
I get it - the idea behind the advent calendar is to let kids know how many days until the big pay off - so they'll stop asking their parents every five minutes.
But the sad truth is that they don't work.
And here's why.
They are made wrong.
Advent calendars count up the days until Christmas beginning with calendar day one, which corresponds with December 1 - unless you buy your yearly calendar at the Christmas Tree Shop. One year I got an extra day at the end of April, another year Easter was labeled wrong. For $2.99 you take your chances.
Anywho - the problem herein is that what does it being day 6 really tell a kid? Are there six days left until Christmas? No they aren's so the modern advent calendar tells us nothing. Who cares that we're six days in? All kids want to know is how many days are left and how five year olds can subtract 6 from 24?
The same number who have the patience to count up all the skillfully camouflaged boxes that are left among their scenes of sugar plums, kittens in santa hats and sleighs flying through moonlit skies (in pictures there's always a full moon on Christmas Eve) to determine for themselves how many days are left based on how many little doors remain. Why go through the trouble when in your parent you have a living Siri doll to ask?
Sure - I could be a renegade parents and just have my kids open door 24 first and then work their way backwards but the calendars aren't set up that way. The big pay off is under door 24 - the tree with presents or the baby Jesus depending on whether you got the secular or the religious calendar.
Some of the calendars even have poems threaded through the doors - written in 4pt type. You can't very well start on December 1 with "and to all a good night," and expect the next 23 days to go well now can you?
So please Mr. Manufacturer of advent calendars - wherever you are - do a parent a favor and really count down the days to Christmas, starting with 24 and ending with 1 so I don't have to keep answering the question. Again. And again. And again.
song: The Final Countdown • artist: Europe