An Advent Calendar Memoir
This is a story about my first year of widowhood, focusing on the month of preparation before Christmas. The pictures behind the doors of the “Christmas Night” Advent calendar suggested themes for each chapter. There are twenty-four doors and two extra chapters. They will each be released from December 1 – 26, 2014.
CHRISTMAS EVE – December 24, 2006
Waited this whole miserable year to open the last door. Of course it’s Santa Claus, “a right jolly old elf.” Continue reading
THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS – Monday, December 26, 2006
That morning John got Tally to Wheaton bright and early, but putting the tires on the car took longer than anyone had anticipated. Even at noon when I drove Tally Jr. back to the tire shop the job wasn’t finished and we were held up further by dickering over the cost and whether it had been paid or not. Continue reading
CHRISTMAS DAY – Sunday, December 25, 2005
When we were little kids and still believed in Santa Claus we’d be at Mass on Christmas morning, no breakfast in our stomachs because we’d be receiving Communion. We’d all be dressed up and felt special but were impatient to rush home and open presents. Once we were in the car, Dad’s evil twin would prolong the suspense by driving home the long way, taking side streets and lanes that did nothing but extend the trip while we screamed in protest. He got such a kick out of it, that he did it every year.
DOOR # 24 – Saturday, December 24, 2005
This door will remain closed until further notice.
DOOR #23 – Friday, December 23, 2005
A pensive Santa carries a Christmas tree with little ornaments dotting it, and the star on top glows against a nighttime sky. Continue reading
DOOR # 22 – Thursday, December 22, 2005
Behind this door is a placid deer family lying on the snow – a cardinal on the male’s antlers is whistling, “Hail, hail the gang’s all here.” Their picture resides next to a swirl signifying the incessant wind which plays across the snowy hillside. Familial peace amid the gusts that surround them.
DOOR #21 – Wednesday, December 21, 2005
The door for December twenty-first hides a grouping of three different style bird houses with three cardinals perched or ready to land on them. Maybe they’re harmonizing on their perches. Continue reading
DOOR #20 – Tuesday, December 20, 2005
This window is in the middle of the main Christmas tree. Two deer are asleep on the snow beneath its branches. Mare and me asleep under the tree? Continue reading
DOOR #19 – Monday, December 19, 2005
Another bear. With a candy cane.
Very vaudeville – his arms are spread just like he’s singing, “Mammy, mammy, I love the old folks at home,” with a wind-up and a two-step. The Al Jolson of teddy bears. Continue reading
DOOR #18 – Sunday, December 18, 2005
This bear is balancing a gift box on his head, but he’s also screwing up the margins on my five-year-old computer, so his influence on Word Perfect is slightly negative. He’s wearing a bright red ribbon around his neck and appears to be in the spirit of things, but “some days are diamonds, some days are pearls,” as John Denver used to sing, and today I can’t get a bead on what this creature is about. Continue reading