Reverse advent calendar, or: What’s in the box!


A Christian tradition: Lego snow mermaids

If you’re like me (and if not, why not?), you probably didn’t sleep a wink last night due to the sheer excitement that lay ahead of you this morning. No, not a fresh box of Cheez-Stuffed Razzleberry PopTarts. It’s the first day of your advent calendar!

From now until Christmas Eve, you get to open one small window a day and delight in the small treat inside – unless the treats are tiny liqueur-filled chocolates, in which case you’re probably going to eat/drink them all alone this Saturday night watching “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix. Friends don’t let friends advent binge. Or watch “Gilmore Girls.”

Like the widespread appeal of pumpkin-spiced anything, the origins of the advent calendar are shrouded in mystery. As with many Christian traditions, it is thought to originate with the pagans. Boy, for a semi-primitive culture, those pagans sure came up with a lot of stuff. Shelf liners? Pagans. Negative billing? Pagans. Origami? The Japanese, but adopted by the pagans in the form of decorative napkin folding.

As we all know from reading antiquated National Geographics in dentists’ offices, the pagans were renowned for keeping their enemies in small boxes, the type of box that might house a microwave. (Contrary to popular belief, the pagans did not invent the microwave.) Every year leading up to the winter solstice, the pagans would let one prisoner a day out of the box in order to demonstrate that they weren’t such bad heathens after all.

This became known as “advent” because the pagans had to remind themselves to cut air holes in the prisoners’ boxes — “add vent.” You lose more prisoners that way…

The pagan rite of opening boxes was adopted by the Christians in the form of the advent calendar – one box opened a day in anticipation of the birth of Christ, who was laid in a manger, which is also a box. Full circle.

Like most pagan rituals that became Christian rituals, the Christian advent calendar has reverted back to its pagan roots. Say “Merry Christmas” with this year’s Walking Dead Lego Zombie-Parts Advent Calendar With Real Bile!

Advent calendars are filled with fun and really cheap chocolate. They are a true Christmas tradition.

But I have a better idea.

2016 has been one dismal year. Society not at its best. One pagan short of human sacrifice. Incomplete sentences. Instead of taking things out of the advent calendar, how about we take all the miserable things and put them into the box?

Here then are my proposals for the Reverse Advent Calendar:

December 1: Fabric softener dryer sheets
December 2: Black Friday. It’s just Friday. Plain Friday
December 3: Kanye West
December 4: Hair-trigger outrage
December 5: Beloved rock stars and celebrities, not as punishment but to keep them safe, the poor dears.
December 6: Sandwiches cut in rectangles instead of triangles
December 7: The phrase “ethical marketing”
December 8: People who say, “I don’t want to be a jerk…” and then proceed to be a jerk
December 9: Corn sold by the tens instead of the dozens (metric corn?)
December 10: Competitive puppy tossing – not a real thing but just in case
December 11: People who say, “It didn’t pass mustard with me” instead of “pass muster”
December 12: Passing mustard
December 13: People on the phone who won’t take “goodbye” for an answer
December 14: Flat-head screws
December 15: People who say, “Try these snow peas! They’re like candy!” They are nothing at all like candy!
December 16: My teenage journals. Actual sample phrase: “My funeral would be quite crowded. The young victim taken in his prime.”
December 17: All sources of harm: guns, bombs, white people
December 18: Twitter wars
December 19: Comment sections
December 20: Normalizing Donald Trump
December 21: Inattention to detail
December 23: All the stupid stuff that gets on my nerves and all the stuff I don’t agree with because they’re stupid, stupid, stupid!
December 24: Intolerance

What’s in your reverse advent calendar? 


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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32 Responses to Reverse advent calendar, or: What’s in the box!

  1. I like your list. I would also add trolls – all kinds, including the movie franchise, fuzzy socks that look like matted dog hair after you wash them and noisemakers of any kind – bell ringers, carolers, and store PA systems. It seems a sad thing that I can think of more things to put in the boxes than take out. Fortunately, my kid just got a little chocolate bear in her box today and not her mother’s holiday spite.

  2. franhunne4u says:

    1 Know it alls – as that includes me, I am safe from the madness which is this time of the year and will not hear any Last Christmas played – also – it takes away the necessity to come up with 23 more points 😉

  3. HonieBriggs says:

    Traffic. Traffic lights. Traffic stops. All things relating to traffic, I suppose would have been sufficient. Trigger warnings. Itchy trigger fingers. Hair triggers. All things relating to triggers. There, I said it. Parking meters. Parking tickets. No Parking signs. Baggage fees. Daylight Savings Time. Holiday decorations in sight 30 days prior to the holiday. Blue M & Ms. Glitter. That about covers it.

  4. List of X says:

    I would normally think of something to add, but this whole comment section is heading into a box anyway.
    Besides, I agree with most of your suggestions, although for almost every item I kept thinking, “We’re gonna need a bigger box”.

  5. pinklightsabre says:

    Full circle. Bloody brilliant and I’m not just saying that even though I just did! The ADD VENT is particularly clever, the whole stinking thing. Are you guys onto recreational marijuana there yet? See, I couldn’t think something up this bright without that. I’m not just saying that! Put it back in the box…Sarah Palin, that one. Giuliani. Do I get one or two or how many? I’ll actually pick Rudy, who is the claymation version of Jack Frost from that Rudolph picture. Let the freaks out. Let the freaks out. Let the freaks out.

  6. ksbeth says:

    lots of one socks, left over from the pairs that went into the washing machine.

  7. I’m guilty of #15. Do I have to get in the box? Are there vent holes?

  8. mitchtoews says:

    Those pagans are such publicity hounds. History knows that it was the early Mennonites who came up with shelf liners. This primitive-but-vital kitchen innovation was created at the confluence of abundant free stuff that was too good to throw out: church programs and dead horses (paste).

    Let us right this historical wrong.

    Mennonites – no one to blame but our shelves.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Playing the Mennonite card. Well done, Toews. Your last line grants you lifelong membership to Drinking Tips for Teens.

      • mitchtoews says:

        Busted. I Menno for those who can’t…I Menno for those afflicted with the scourge of…WORDS WITH FRIENDS! Imagine; twenties of Mennonites no longer arguing about world-changing events like whether Pastor Abe can wear skinny jeans to Adult Sunday School or not. Instead, they are triple word scoring. The horror. Join the movement, people! Stop the WWF epidemic today by sending some really good free trade coffee and some recipes to the wife. Oh yeah: discernment, fellowship. (Two words all Mennos are required to use in public messages.)

  9. byebyebeer says:

    Holy shit, I love this list! Passing mustard, keeping our idols safe (the poor dears), excerpts from your teenaged journals (not to brag, but I could beat that ten times over), and intolerance. My kids have two advent calendars, one with chocolate and the other with animal figurines in small boxes with no air holes. My youngest set it up and pretty sure she rigged it to get all the good animals on her days. Nobody wants the Christmas skunk it seems.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I made the mistake of cracking open my teen journals this week. I was a walking Smiths lyric. There are far more embarrassing passages but that one captures the self-pity/self-absorbed quotient nicely. I have a soft spot for homemade advent calendars. For our youngest, with the strict diet, we used to make them out of egg cartons covered with tissue paper. Simple, pokeable. I will take your Christmas skunk any day.

  10. I saw a cartoon for a Jehovah’s Witness Advent Calendar. Every time you open a door it says “Go Away”.

Go ahead, don't be shy.

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