I’m not afraid to admit that I am starting to hit my stride when it comes to seasonal cheer. Christmas parties are happening everywhere, lunch and dinners to fit in with old friends and final bits of Christmas shopping to be sought. Aside from the worry that my bank account is going to be in a very sorry state come January there is another cause for anxiety that troubles me even more – the daily opening of advent calendars.
I used to love opening those little windows as a kid they were a nice treat after breakfast and a sure sign that Christmas Day was fast approaching. As the years went by and I finally found out that Saint Nick wasn’t real (I was about 25*) the excitement of opening the calendar windows started to ebb away.
My Nan, bless her boots, still kept buying me an advent calendar regardless of how old I got. She just couldn’t seem to let go of the fact that I wasn’t a kid anymore and despite my protests (by the time I was 15) felt that I secretly wanted one anyway. This has carried on right into adulthood. Every year I tell her “Nan, I don’t want one, I’m in my twenties for Pete’s sake. I’ve got a Rock’n’Roll image to keep up don’t you know, I can’t be opening a bloody advent calendar every morning”. Still come December 1st there it is, a frickin’ advent calendar waiting to be opened.
By the time I was 25 it had gone beyond a joke. I was far too busy to be opening a calendar window every morning, let alone the fact I was often in different parts of the country on tour. It was then that the advent calendar took a different more menacing and all together sinister meaning. It struck me with the morbid truth that with every window I opened, I was a day closer to the end.
I stopped opening the windows, instead saving them all up until December 24th, that way I felt I had somehow cheated time. This year is the last year of my twenties so I made a point to telling my Nan “I categorically do not want you to buy me a calendar this year. If you do I will not open it so it will be a waste of money. I have actually developed a phobia of advent calendars so buying me one could see me committed to the psycho ward”. She seemed a little upset but I thought my point had been made, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of tough love anyway. But what should I find come 1st December? Yep an f-ing advent calendar!
I told her “Sorry Nan, I told you if you bought one I wouldn’t open it. So this is me saying I don’t want it, give it to someone else, I am sure someone else would want it?” This seemed to upset her.
“You’ve got to open it I bought it for you” she said giving me that typical ‘feel sorry for me’ old person look.
“Nan… Oh bloody hell! Don’t get upset about it, I’ll be thirty in a couple of months for crying out loud. I told you not to get one but you did anyway. Look I’ll take it home alright? Just promise me now not to get one next year”.
At this point I felt bad because she seemed upset. It’s never nice to shatter someone’s dream especially an older person but she should really know better by now. If I say no that means no, no does not mean yes. I am male not female thank you very much. So I now have to suffer another Christmas of advent anxiety, feeling that I’m making that final countdown to oblivion. Do I have issues? Probably, but on a plus side I’ll get around this by waiting to open all the windows on Christmas Eve when I’ll indulge in a Galaxy advent calendar chocolate binge, preparing my stomach for the Christmas Day feast.