Now that the storm is over you’re able to sit quietly for a few moments and enjoy today’s Advent prize. You whistle to old Willy and give him the command to fetch it from the pantry. At first he brings a package of noodles in his mouth, dropping them in front of you, waiting for you to smile. After not just smiling but chuckling, the old hound cat heads back to the kitchen and this time retrieves what you’ve been waiting for all day — your Advent calendar, embossed in gold, secured with lock and chain. You fire up the acetylene torch and break open today’s hinge. Inside you find:
You knew it was coming but that doesn’t make it any better — it’s an unmade bed complete with four pillows, a comforter, a fitted sheet, a top sheet and a wool blanket. You didn’t fight through 60-odd cyber wars just for this, but it’s a part of Christmas and Christmas is a part of you. At least according to your father. He used to say the whole family is related to Jesus on account of generation after generation of candy-lovers He never elaborated but you figure it has something to do with candy being so consistently popular.
Only 13 days left until you build a fire, forget to open the flue and ruin Christmas for everyone including the fire department who had just sit down to the biggest turkey any of them had ever seen.
The man at the store said your outfit could transition seamlessly from office casual to night heat chic but when you look in the mirror after work, you decide you’d better change into something more appropriate for a night out at BAM! Bar. While changing out of your overalls and into a sexy snakeskin skin, you realize you forgot about your Advent calendar! Mid-nude you bite open the December 11 window to reveal today’s treat:
The blood of an Englishman! And fresh too. You sort of wish that you got to keep the boy so you could take him to the bar but he says he still has nine more pints to give before the 11th turns to the 12th.
Only 14 days left you can’t remember if it’s worth it to keep the tinsel until next year or just throw it out and get more. I mean, it’s pretty cheap. But ever since you moved that huge mirror that you swore was humming out of the closet, there’s plenty more room for storage.
You finish up your smoothie and head to the attic, candlestick in hand, ready for another chocolate treat courtesy of your Advent calendar. You turn off the December 10 airlock and remove the bay door to reveal:
An apple core and a woman looking through her own Advent calendar right back at you. Since you opened the portal at the exact same time you both can’t decide who will get the core.
“How much longer are we going to do this?” she asks.
“I’m waiting for a sign,” you answer.
“I’ll show you my bra if I can have it,” she offers.
“Can I keep the bra?” you ask.
“No, it’s grafted onto me, duh,” she replies.
“Oh, so you are in another dimension?” you ask.
“Duh,” she says.
“Is it called ‘Christmas’ where you’re from,” you wonder out loud.
“No it’s called ‘lunch’,” she says.
You decide not to tell her that in your dimension, apple cores are considered garbage. You close the portal without saying goodbye and continue carving the homemade Lego you plan on giving to your little nephew.
Only 15 days left until you realize that Jingle Bells isn’t about the bells man, it’s more about sleighs.
You were quite displeased when your mother pulled the homemade Advent calendar out of her bonnet. Traditionally, you had got your calendar from the magician around the corner, whose wondrous tricks translated surprisingly well to counting down the days in a month. Expecting yet another porridge-covered raisin, you peel off the December 9 window–stuck on with last summer’s gum–to reveal a pleasant surprise:
It’s a wealthy woman trying lobster for the first time! You look back to where your mother is working on her album, expecting a wink or a “I put her there”. Instead, she goes about her business and you think that maybe, just maybe, the magician around the corner is totally boning her after all, for only his magic could produce such a treat.
Only 16 days until you say “I’ll give you your present later” to your significant other, hoping they’ll get horny enough to ignore the fact that you didn’t get them anything, relying on your body and aptitude for sex to keep them satisfied.
While the cider softly boils on the stove next to a pot of warm butter–ready any weary traveller with fresh buns on his knees–you sit down in front of the TV and excitedly peel back the December 8 window on your calendar revealing these two staring into your yellow eyes:
After some initial disgust you realize that they aren’t the prize but rather the prize-mongers, presenting a potted weed, just for you.
“Plant this next to your toy shed,” said the one you figure is a man.
“It will ward off child bandits,” furthered the one you assume is the man’s wife, who you assume is a woman.
You take the weed and close the window on the calendar. You take a long sniff of the thing and it smells like the most delicious candy you’ve ever smelled with rich notes of chocolate, caramel and cherry dust. You remove a small leaf and feed it to your test cat, who gobbles it down without a moment’s notice then ages in front of your eyes into the old girl you always wanted. You now understand the power of the weed and quietly thank Saint Nicholas, for your toy shed had up until that point been the most vulnerable on the compound.
Only 17 days left until your family takes turns bringing gravy to the toilet because you used baking powder instead of flour and they were too scared to tell you. Remember what happened when no one liked your Brussels sprouts? Your cousin never did regrow his nose like you said.
Since it’s Saturday and you don’t have to sheer the goats until sundown, you take a thermos of sauce down to the old barn for today’s calendar treat. You take a seat on the same hay your mother fed to you as a baby and take the Advent calendar out of its folder. Using the fingernails you grew for Halloween and decided to keep because they pick zits so well, you peel back the December 7 window to reveal…
….ooooo look at that! An official NASA terraform sampler set, the very same brought to space by astronauts looking to trade our trees for the aliens’ cure for runny bums. The mission was of course unsuccessful but I’m we’ll all never forget Captain James Bafe’s famous quote, “we thought they’d notice us if we started peeing on the moon, but they never showed. Goddamn cowards”.
Only 18 days left until you go to church only because it’ll kill time before you get that new drill.
You draw a warm, bubbly bath, scented with lavender and Honey Nut Cheerios. After immersing yourself in the brown, brown water you pull out your Advent calendar, remove your waterproof gloves carefully and unscrew the cap from the December 6 square. Much to your delight you reveal:
A tri-colour triple pack of patriot bands WITH real American wrist! In some countries this passes as an official United States passport. In others it’s simply a sign of good dental health due to its similarity to paste bracelets, a convenient, portable, chewy way to keep your chompers rock hard.
Only 19 days left until you start worrying that no one is going to come to your New Year’s Eve party. Worry not, if no one shows up you have enough shrimp rings to make eighteen decorative, edible necklaces, the perfect accessory for a stylish psycho who is going to gun down all their friends for not coming to their New Year’s Eve party.
You can’t believe that it’s December 5th already, mainly because you were in a coma for most of November. With shaky hands and clouded vision (holdover from the coma), you take an pocket knife to the leather window on your Advent calendar to reveal:
You very own tortoise slave! A big one too. You won’t get to give it a name until you train it to bathe you, but you’re thinking something along the lines of ‘King Plomp’ after a character in the epic dream you had while comatose.
Only 20 days left until talking to anyone but your family is considered terribly rude.
You invite your friend Mobert over to share in the opening of the December 4 window on your Advent calendar. After readying the barf bucket, you peel back the steel-enforced cardboard to reveal:
A woman pigging out, watching a closed-circuit feed of you opening the window. You don’t close the window for fear of the universe collapsing on itself.
Only 21 more days left until we take our stockings down and put them back on the big feet of our nation’s basketball stars. For 25 days in December they have to use oven mitts.
You forgot allllll about your Advent calendar today so you hopped on the first tram out of the dome and back to your place where it sits next to your copy of Little Women. You excitedly peel back the December 3 window to reveal…
…a traditional miner’s breakfast! Two slices of dried and charred jícama and a coal-dusted pasta steak, served in a gummi bowl. Only 22 days left until you have to once more explain to your church’s minister why you don’t like candy canes. It’s not that you don’t respect them, they just that they remind you of the elderly and how they eat boring candy and can’t walk.