Remembering The Advent Calendar
I was determined this time; I wasn’t going to forget this year. Forget what, you ask? Why, the Advent Calendar, of course. Oh, I always remember it the first day, when it’s new and exciting and everyone is talking about it. And I always remember on the twenty fifth, when even I can remember that there are supposed to be gifts. But other than those two days, I always forget to go and collect my gifts. I’m thus sentenced to spend the following months stopping passing pets in the street to ask where they got their scarf, gloves, or other cute accessories that I wasn’t even aware existed. Not too practical, is it?
So I decided to take drastic measures this time to make sure that I remembered. I started with sticky notes. The nice lady at the toy store recommended them and said everyone uses them to remember things. So I tried it.
I bought ten packs of sticky notes – figuring the more I had the better my chances – and wrote “Go to the Advent Calendar” on each and every one of the tiny yellow squares. I then proceeded to paste them all over my house the day before the Calendar began.
On the first day, it worked, I remembered... but then, I usually remember on the first day, as I’ve already said. On the second day, however, things were different. I woke up to find sticky notes in my hair. They were all over the floor as I tried to get out of bed. I went to have a bath and found them filling my bathtub. I thus spent all day cleaning up the sticky notes. Now granted, I’d been forgetting to do my fall cleaning, so it was good to get the whole house cleaned, but on the down side, I forgot to go to collect my gifts.
I returned to the toy store and told the shop keeper what had happened. She smiled sympathetically and held out a poster to me. “It’s got a great big picture of the Advent Calendar on it,” she said cheerfully. “Hang it on your front door and as soon as you go to leave the house, you’ll remember!”
I paid her and took the poster home. I felt very proud of myself as I put it up on the inside of my front door. After all, there was no way I could miss it while walking out.
And it proved to be true. Only I didn’t leave the house until four days later when I ran out of milk and had to go shopping. It was then, bundled in my coat and scarf and boots, that I saw the poster. Devastated, I went immediately to Terror Mountain and claimed my prize for that day.
As I did my shopping afterwards, I contemplated my problem. The sticky notes and the poster had both failed me; it was time for something else. And then it hit me. My best friend and neighbour would be able to help!
And so I bought some cookies and after having returned home and put my things inside, I went over to my neighbour’s house. (Incidentally I went without the cookies, which I had bought for her but had forgotten in my own house.)
My friend was quick to invite me in, sit me down in front of the fireplace and bring me hot cocoa and cookies. (The cookies made me realize I’d forgotten something, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what.) I told her about my problem and she nodded in understanding, as if this were a problem she too had faced.
“I know just what you need.”
“You do?” I was so hopeful. I figured if I couldn’t find a solution, surely she could.
“Of course! A reminder!”
“Yes! I always go first thing in the morning. Tomorrow I’ll come get you before I leave and we’ll go together.”
With that settled, I returned home and enjoyed a pleasant evening eating a box of cookies I didn’t remember buying.
The next morning the reason for my friend’s visit was quite forgotten to me. When she arrived I ushered her in and, without letting her say a word, sat her down to breakfast. We ate and talked and laughed and she couldn’t help but to notice the pretty tinsel balls I had sitting in a basket. So then of course we swapped decorating ideas.
By late evening, my living room floor was decorated with strings of popcorn, garlands of holly, homemade ornaments, and all manner of sparkly, festive wreaths. And neither of us remembered the Advent Calendar.
The next day my friend apologized to me again and again as we went together to collect my gifts. I told her not to worry about it; after all, including that day, I’d gotten gifts three times, which is more after eight days than I normally get during the whole month.
When we returned, my friend suggested a schedule. She said she too was forgetful, so she wrote all the important things she had to do in a day in a schedule book, which she had an extra of, for emergencies. We agreed this was an emergency, and she gave me the book.
I spent all that evening and all the next day filling in my schedule, missing the calendar in the process. The day after that, I forgot where I put my book and since I couldn’t remember what I had written inside it, spent all day looking for it. The day after that, I forgot what I was looking for and spent all day hunting around, trying to remember. (During which I found a wrench, a glove, two spatulas and three socks which had all previously been missing.)
The next three days after that were spent in blissful forgetfulness until, on the fourth day, I accidently found and opened the book while searching for my vegetarian cookbook. And there it was, glaringly obvious: my reminder to go to the Advent Calendar. I groaned and hurried off. I got my gifts, but I was unhappy. A schedule too had failed me.
What was there left to do? I was already halfway through the month.
I went to the book shop. “I need tips on remembering things,” I told the shop keeper.
“Well, I have just the thing!”
And he handed me a book with a pen on the cover. “This isn’t about schedules, is it?”
He laughed. “No, it’s the most advanced method for reminding yourself of important things known to Neopia. Why, even children know this trick, almost instinctively!”
And so I took the book home. The trick turned out to be writing things on ones hands or arms. I seemed to remember doing that as a child... but the more I thought about it, I began to realize that I had always had to write my notes in a place where they wouldn’t be seen by my teachers... and had then forgotten where I’d written them.
But that wasn’t an issue now; after all, I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I had nothing to hide! And so I wrote “Advent Calendar” all over my arms, in blue ink, because I like blue.
The next morning after I’d dragged myself through the shower, I realized my problem. For there, on my arms, were large, blue stains. By the time I had scrubbed my arms clean I had forgotten to go the Advent Calendar.
And so I did the only thing there was left to be done. I gave up. I returned to my regular routine, remembering to go to the Advent Calendar only on the twenty fifth. I almost didn’t go that day, although I’d remembered. I figured, why torture myself with thoughts of what I didn’t get? But I went anyway, and was quite pleased with my gifts. And I decided I wanted to remember just once more before the month was over.
And a few days later, it happened. I woke up in the morning and the first thing I thought of was the Calendar. Delighted and filled with pride, I skipped my shower and stuffed myself into a coat. I wasted no time in hurrying to Terror Mountain, and when I got there, rushing up to the pretty cottage and throwing open the door with a joyful shout.
Except that the door was locked and I smacked into it, my joyful shout coming out more like a pained grunt.
I pulled back, rubbing my nose and staring at the sign on the door with tears in my eyes. It read:
Oops! - It isn't the month of Celebrating... so there isn't anything to give away :(
Discouraged, I turned and trudged away. I had forgotten that the previous night had been New Year’s Eve.