The Calendar

Advent wasn’t a thing at my house growing up.  In fact, I didn’t really know what advent was all about until I was out on my own.  Of course, any thing that I can use to amp up the holiday season has my name all over it.

For many years I had an advent wreath with candles (until it caught the tablecloth on fire).  When YA was young, we had a window cling advent calendar (until she pulled all the pieces off the window – I still think that maybe some of the pieces may have gotten eaten by a dog or even flushed).  I made a big advent calendar out of little tins and lots of holiday paper; it was finally retired a couple of years ago when YA informed me that she didn’t really need to be “doing that” any more.

Two years ago a wine advent calendar hit the Aldis shelves for the first time.  I heard about it right before Christmas – too late.  So last year, I did some research and was dismayed when my friend who works at Aldi’s HQ here, said that the wine advent calendar isn’t sold in Minnesota due to the liquor laws here.  No alcohol sold in grocery stores.  I looked online and found a couple of other wine calendars but they were much more expensive than Aldis and then there was the shipping to Minnesota issue.  YA and I did score an Aldi’s cheese advent calendar and enjoyed it so I decided to try again this year for the wine.

I left the house yesterday at 6 a.m. and headed to River Falls (the closest Aldi’s carrying the calendars).  Arriving at 10 minutes to 7, I saw that four other folks were already there.  We all huddled in our cars until someone drove up at 10 after 7 and got out of her car.  At that point, we quickly started lining up outside the store.  Even though I had thought the process through a little bit, bringing a stadium chair, I neglected a coat, gloves or blanket.  I was VERY happy when the sun finally got above the tree line.  Store employees came out with “tickets” at 8 a.m.  There were wine advent calendars, beer advent calendars and hard seltzer calendars that required tickets and had limits.  It looked like the employees had about 50 of each type of ticket.  By the time the store opened at 9, there were probably 125 folks in line… all down the outside of the store, around the corner and down the whole parking lot.  I can’t speak for other parts of the line, but at the very front, we had a party vibe going right up until opening.  In addition to the wine, I also managed to get to the cheese calendars before they were gone.

Since we know we’ll be having a different kind of holiday season this year, at least we’ll have fun with our cheese and wine every night of advent.

When have you gone out of your way to get something you really wanted?

29 thoughts on “The Calendar”

  1. I can’t remember ever going any distance for the sake of a thing, but we once drove to Detroit specifically to see a Van Gogh exhibit and we once drove from upstate New York all the way across Massachusetts just to visit Mount Auburn cemetery in Boston. We also stopped at the Fruitlands site, where Bronson Alcott had his utopian experiment, on the way back. And of course the primary reason we went to Wales was so Robin could participate in a workshop.

    Apropo of nothing, I just remembered that today is Guy Fawkes day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We once traveled to the center of Lake Superior to a place called Superior Shoal. While the water is generally several hundred feet deep, the shoal is like a spike of rock that comes up off the bottom and reaches to within 20 feet of the surface. That rocky spike killed many ships before it was mapped. Because of the earth’s curvature, to get there you need a large fast boat. You travel for hours without being able to see a shore, and I can attest that that is unsettling.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Clumsy writing, Bill. I meant to say the curvature made shorelines invisible for several hours of running at top speed. It got on my nerves to run that long with no visible shore. The experience heightens your sense of the immensity of the lake and how dinky your little boat is.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. when i did ketamine as my anesthetic it gave me the view of my existence on the planet as the tiny boat on the lake felt to you
          it was a life changing experience


  3. I didn’t know about these. VS! So there are 24 tiny bottles of wine in there? And for the cheese, 24 little wrapped samples of cheese, I presume…

    I just got an email about the Jacquie Lawson (of the online card company) advent cal. that has an animated story for each day, with year with a Nordic theme. I received one as a gift one year and was totally captivated…

    I may have stood in line for tickets to some concert once, and I’m sure I’ve gone out of my way to buy something that seemed important at the time. Hopefully the memory will surface some time today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, 24 little tiny bottles of wine. 12 on one side and then turn it around and 12 on the other. Pretty much the same for the cheese except the cheese of course has to live in the fridge. Each piece of cheese is really and truly about two bites … one for me one for YA.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. at my house 24 750 milliliter bottles would be good
      trader joe’s and or a quick cart at the liquor store of choice would be fun
      24 x$5 average would make advent something to look forward to

      with beer it could be $1 a day
      how fun

      wine and cheese with a group of 2 could be a post covid effort worthwhile


  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Last year I got my son one of these for his birthday, only it was beer. He had fun with it, but he was careful to tell me he did not sample one beer per day.

    I go a long way to get various things, but especially new experiences take me far away. For example, in the winter I want sun, so I go to AZ. Things—not so much. Experiences—you betcha.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Well, we travel to Fargo for lots of provisions, but it has been months since we’ve been there. I found the olive oil we like at Amazon. Husband has a hankering for gjetost but can’t find any in town. I refuse to buy that on-line. So perhaps we will get some in Bismarck, but I don’t forsee a trip anywhere right now.

    Daughter requested a Harry Potter advent calendar. It has candy in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Right now the only thing I can think of is standing in line for a long time on a frigid New Year’s Eve night to purchase a ticket to see “Reds” at the Cooper Theater. Most likely there are other things I have stood in a long line for but the memories are buried too deep to retrieve this early in the day.

    Like Jacque, I will go a long ways for new experiences. So far I have visited six continents (and about 50 countries). A friend and I were booked on a cruise to Antarctica next month. Due to the coronavirus, that experience will have to wait until December of 2021 (hopefully).

    And I will wait as long as it takes for all the votes to be counted!

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Drove to the Fitz at oh-dark-thirty one winter morning to stand in line for an hour just to get a seat at the live farewell final broadcast of “The Morning Show.” And it was worth every damn chilly minute waiting outside. One of the best events I’ve ever attended. (Still get misty-eyed thinking about Peter Oustrushko’s “You Are My Sunshine.” wow, just wow.

    Chris in Owatonna (My wife thought I was nuts!)

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Yes… That was definitely a time to go out of your way a little bit. I managed to get a great seat on the second row of the balcony.


  8. Also went to Southdale in ’87 to try to score some tickets to the World Series. Stood for an hour or so before someone came out and said “Everybody from this point on can go home because we already sold out our allotment.” Bummer


    Liked by 2 people

    1. The law firm I worked for at the time was the legal counsel for the Twins, and had a certain number of free tickets to each of the home games. I attended game 2 and 6 with husband’s nephew, Lars, who is Danish and had no clue what baseball was. Both were exciting games with high scores, really fun to watch; the energy and noise from the 55,000 plus spectators was unbelievable. After the Twins won the championship, our firm had the trophy on display in our office for about a week.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. Set an a line outside best buy three weeks Christmas to get a PlayStation back when my son was a kid and that was the thing it was cold and it took a long time and I felt really good that I got one of the last ones and my son appreciated it so it was worthwhile

    I drove to Calgary to see the mountains at Banff and it was worth it

    I don’t remember doing that too often recently but remember the old days when you want to go to a concert you had to go stand in line at Daytons at the ticket office I remember doing that a couple times but I don’t remember who FOUR maybe it was JAMES TAYLOR maybe it was Jethro Tull maybe it was the Moody blues back in the day tickets we’re still only 20 bucks before Ticketmaster get involved and cranked it up to 250 for the good seats starting to sound like my dad whining about penny candy

    Liked by 3 people

  10. At the moment I can’t think of anything that I have stood in line to buy. I’m pretty sure I have, though at the moment I can’t think of anything that I’d want that much.

    I have stood in line for hours in the cold to show my respects to Hubert Humphrey when he lay in state at the Capitol, and I have stood in a long line for a book signing by Jimmy Carter at the Hungry Mind book store. I have stood in line to get a decent seat at The Cedar, and to attend the memorial for Tom Keith. I have waited in line for a seat at a table at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans, and traveled to Chicago to see several exhibits at local museums, among them the Treasures of King Tut; an exhibit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s works, and an exhibit of Impressionist paintings. Guess I fall in the category of people who will go out of their way for experiences rather than things to buy, and I’m with K-two on being willing to wait for every legitimate vote to be counted.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. The side of the box says the bottles are 187ML. So yes just under three dollars a little bottle. Not something I’d want to pay on a regular basis but it’s the novelty of it for me. And it’s the cheapest wine advent calendar to be found, that’s for sure.


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