The Advent Calendar Canadian Tire Style

The advent calendar is a big deal in our house this time of year. Every year since we had our babies, we've had one of those old-fashioned advent calendars. No, not with silly, gratuitous and tasteless chocolates behind each door. Ours is like they used to be when we were kids, with fancy and sparkly holiday pictures of joy and happiness. We are advent calendar snobs.

And since the kids have been old enough to get excited about the prospect of Christmas and all it brings, the advent calendar has been a major focus. Every year, we have to have a new one, and it has to be special: different from all others, full of colour, sparkles, Santa and elves galore, and it has to tell a story. And every year, the kids take turns opening the doors. Last year, Dennis opened Dec. 1. This year, it was Milly's turn. And so it goes. They can't wait to get up in the morning to open the next day's door. (As an aside, this morning, Dennis opened the door for Dec. 4, and was appalled to see the SAME candle behind the door as for Dec. 1. The only difference was the background. He feels cheated.)

This year, as December approached, the mention of the advent calendar came up once again. Did we even have one? One year, we didn't get one early enough, and all the special ones were gone, and we were stuck with something that looked like it had been compiled by a family of schizophrenics (no offense to those suffering schizophrenia). Mr. Handsome made sure that never happened again, so last year, he bought up about 10 different kinds, all beautiful, to be sure we never ran out of a proper advent calendar again.

So, when the question arose, Mr. Handsome piped up quickly and said, "Do I have an advent calendar for YOU!" He had such a gleam in his eye, and such excitement in his voice, the kids and I couldn't wait to see this year's calendar in all its glory.

And then he pulled it out. The Christmas Countdown Calendar 2008, brought to you by Canadian Tire! Sure, it was colourful enough, with cute little elves rushing about, and Santa and Mrs. Claus looking over the list. There was even a little workshop with tiny elves working hard inside. The best thing about it, according to Mr. Handsome, was that it was free, and it was full of great coupons! And things like "Last minute gift idea? Consider a Canadian Tire gift card" or "Save $20 on a Polar heart rate monitor!" Very Christmasy, wouldn't you say?

Maybe I'm just fussy, just never happy with what I have. Go ahead and say it. I can handle it. But really, in all seriousness, who in heaven's name would actually WANT to use a Canadian Tire advent calendar. Who would WANT to stick a big slab of commercialism on their mantel and look at it everyday? Not me. Can you imagine the excitement of opening up tomorrow's little door to be greeted by, "Save $5 on any small electric kitchen appliance $9.99 or more!". Yeah, me too.

As it happens, Mr. Handsome was NOT serious about the calendar. At least, he didn't admit to it.

I have to say I'm not AGAINST having a Canadian Tire advent calendar in the house. I just don't want it being USED as an advent calendar. Instead, I want it being used as a means to saving some dough, to heading to Canadian Tire (which is still to this day one of my favourite places to shop) and searching for that perfect something for someone on my list (why is it that men worship the Church of Canadian Tire?). Is there something wrong with that? They're even giving away a Bruce Cockburn Christmas CD, a package of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and a Sarah McLachlan CD containing 8 tracks from her 'Wintersong' CD! Canadian Tire, here I come!


Shana said…
Okay, I did laugh at the Canadian Tire Advent Calendar. I didn't know they had them. I did buy Marissa on the tasteless chocolate ones and she ate them all in one day!!

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