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?