Thank goodness I’ve been laid off my patienting duties because I have considerable holiday prep on the horizon. Hanukkah is quickly approaching, and Christmas follows soon after. Heck, even Sinterklaas will be stopping by this week.
Holiday gifting can lose its lustre over time. J. and I exchange eight little Hanukkah gifts, one for each night, and have a few wrapped items under the Christmas tree. Pyjamas, puzzles, calendars, and chocolates make regular appearances.
This year, with so much time on my hands, I decided to shake up the calendar routine. My inspiration arose from mini chocolate hockey pucks from the Bulk Barn. J., a better lesbian than me, is the consummate hockey fan, and the Oilers are her team, even though we don’t live in Edmonton. Although Oilers paraphernalia is harder to come by in Calgary, it doesn’t sell all that well here. When I found the hockey pucks, Flames pucks were MIA but Oilers pucks were aplenty.
Not wanting to simply wrap the pucks, I decided on an Oilers Advent calendar. I imagine the first Advent calendar had a higher purpose than daily chocolate consumption, but today’s? Not so much. After briefly considering craftily building the calendar myself, I abandoned that idea and bought a Lindt equivalent. I figured I could remove the high-quality chocolates inside and replace them with the chocolate pucks.
Because I am an Advent calendar novice, I did not know how to remove the original chocolates, however. I started by breaking through 10 of 24 little doors and eating the chocolates. And then, eureka: I realized I could remove the interior plastic insert holding the chocolates, switch the original chocolates with the pucks, and reinsert the plastic. This would keep the remaining doors intact.
Then I labelled the doors with a picture of each player ordered from worst to best, except for the last door. This door I saved for McJesus, the offensive (yes, he’s on offence, but that’s not what I mean here) nickname of Connor McDavid, the Oilers’ first round draft pick. The Oilers were eligible for top-pick McJesus only because they had played so poorly the previous season. How’s that for reinforcing bad behaviour? With a nickname like McJesus, of course he had to be born as close to the big kahuna as possible.
After the players were affixed, I covered every remaining inch of the calendar with pictures of team logos and players. I omitted racy pictures of scantily attired women in ripped team shirts, realizing those images might reflect poorly on J.
This morning, one day late, I gave the calendar to J. for her Oilers shrine at work. She liked it, I think, although her text “Best gift so far!!!” was disappointing. So far? It is her only gift so far. Last time I go to that effort for her.
One last quandary: what to do with the 14 remaining Lindt chocolates from the original calendar. I resolved that one immediately. You’ll find no trace of the chocolate on my lips, none at all.