But knowing how inherently lazy I am, I figure it's a good idea to keep on truckin' the NaBloPoMo highway for the third month in a row.
So let's start right now, with a post appropriate for the first day of December.
I didn't buy an Advent calendar this year. Nothing particularly earth-shattering in that -- I haven't had one for several years -- but this year, for some reason, I wish I had one.
When we were little, my younger sister and I loved the daily countdown to Christmas Eve, marked each morning by the opening of another window in the Advent calendar and the discovery of what lay behind the flap -- or, if it were a particularly lucky day, and the picture was a big one, two flaps -- of card stock. (For it was always a picture, rather than a piece of craptastic chocolate; no matter how much we begged, or wailed that all our friends got to have chocolate calendars, and our mother was a meanie, the Advent calendar never contained chocolate.) Would it be a sleigh, a bell, a wreath? A snowman, a candy cane, a star?
And every year my sister and I would alternate between even- and odd-numbered days. In theory, we would remember who had which days the previous year, so there would be no dispute over which one of us would have the thrill of opening the final window on December 24th.
So, near the end of November each year, when my mother brought home that year's calendar, an argument of varying degrees of violence would inevitably erupt. The day the Advent calendar came home was the day you knew the season of peace, joy and good cheer had begun.
Fast forward to 2008.
In the last few weeks I've made a half-hearted search for a Advent calendar (all for myself!), but they all had chocolate inside them. Well, a couple of them had chocolate hidden behind their flaps; most of them contained "chocolately candy", that dreck that contains a wee bit of cocoa mixed in with vegetable shortening, or whatever.
Piggy doesn't do "chocolatey". She does chocolate. Preferably with a cocoa content of 70% or higher, although she rarely turns up her nose at good-quality European milk chocolate, either. After all, it's one thing to be selective, quite another to be finicky.
More importantly, they all looked...well, let's not mince words, shall we? Tacky, cheap and crass (why are mothers always right?).
So I did not buy an Advent calendar. Instead, I'm using an online one. Which, in theory, would also rub me the wrong way; this one, however, has a couple of very good things going for it: