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Friday, December 17, 2010

Counting Down to Christmas

Six years ago our youngest son, who keeps mischief up his sleeve and his pant leg, both, came bounding into our room at 6am. It was a Christmas emergency. "Mama! Daddy! Santa didn't come! He didn't come!" He shook our shoulders and jumped on our bed to arouse us out of our winter slumber. Never mind that he just announced that he had made an unauthorized trip down the stairs on Christmas morning.

Oh my gosh, I thought. I pulled a forgetful tooth fairy stunt, but on Christmas. This is bad. Is the whole world waking up to see that Santa came? How are we going to fix this foul up? It's not as easy as pretending to find a dollar on the floor and making up a story about the specialness of that particular tooth. In a few hours curious friends will be calling the kids to ask what they got. But wait, is it Christmas? No. Today must be Christmas Eve. I think.

Still not convinced of who was right, me or him, I asked, "Are you sure today is Christmas?"

"Yes, ma'am," he cried. "I know it is. Yesterday the snowman [which we use to countdown] held up the number 1. It was the last day until Christmas, so today is Christmas, and SANTA DIDN'T COME!"

Six years later, we're having the same debate. This morning at breakfast we argued over whether the snowman should be holding up 7 days or 8 days. There are two camps. Some of us believe that he should hold up 8 days because, as of this morning, today has not yet passed. The rest of us believe that he should hold up 7 days, because today has arrived and therefore isn't part of the until anymore.

What is the correct method for counting down to Christmas? Even Google doesn't know. Which makes me think this traditional task must only tax my family. Embarrassing.

But, alas, I've found a way to keep it straight. I just hope that whoever developed this countdown isn't related to me. Otherwise Christmas might be a day late again.

Christmas Countdown

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