Advent Calendar

A wooden green advent calendar
A wooden green advent calendar

My most vivid holiday memory is the anticipation of my mom’s return home from work in the 25 days leading up to Christmas. The second she got through the door, my sister and I would descend on her. The true objects of our attention were the advent calendars, two unassuming wooden boxes. After putting down her things she would relent, telling us to wait in the hallway. We complied, practically vibrating as we waited for Christmas magic to take effect. 
We clapped and danced dutifully before taking a peek at our long-awaited prize. We felt for the telltale crinkle of the Lindor truffle wrapper or the shiny foil of a chocolate Santa. Sometimes our fingers instead made contact with a bead. This elicited an eager reach behind the advent calendar for a larger prize. We ended the experience content, usually with some amount of chocolate smeared around our mouths. 
This tradition extends beyond our small unit of four. My grandmother is similar, in fact, she was the one who provided my dad with the much-adored advent calendars of his youth, indirectly granting us the same experience. 
Fittingly, the advent calendar is an accurate representation of my family dynamic. We’re a sturdy, solitary unit upon first glance, but as you open each door you’ll unlock the unique characteristics of each individual. Even now that I’m older and no longer write letters to Santa or wait excitedly for Christmas magic to occur, my weathered green advent calendar will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Place(s): Santa Rosa, Napa

– Veronica M

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more