(An Advent Ode to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day)
I went to sleep without getting any Christmas cookies after dinner and mom and dad said I can’t have any cookies before breakfast either and when I got up this morning one of my 153 stuffed animal friends – Rudolph - had fallen on the floor and I couldn’t find him and I really wanted to cuddle with him while I watched morning cartoons but the Star Wars Rebels cartoon I really wanted to watch wasn’t on and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Advent.
At breakfast my waffle had peanut butter on it instead of strawberry jam and I wanted my waffle cut like a Christmas tree, like the one that is supposed to be in our house but mom and said we have to wait a few more weeks. But the only shape my waffle was cut in was triangles. Triangles are yucky.
I think I’ll move to the North Pole.
In the car on the way to school my baby brother got to chew on a toy and I didn’t have any toys to play with. I asked very politely and with my best smile if I could have a cookie for a snack. I said I was hungry. I said my tummy says feed me. I said, if I don’t get a Christmas cookie I was going to be carsick. My baby brother just stared at me. No one even answered.
I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Advent.
At school Mrs. Pumpernickel liked Jackson’s picture of Santa better than my picture of fresh North Pole snow on white paper.
At chapel time she said I sang too loud. At nap time she said I needed to lay down and rest. Who needs nap time? I’m not tired! I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Advent.
I could tell because Richard said I wasn’t his best friend anymore. He said that Peyton Parks was his best friend and that the classroom turtle was his next best friend and that I was his third best friend.
I hope you sit a pinecone, I said to Richard. I hope that the next time you have a Christmas cookie with frosting and sprinkles on it the sprinkles fall off the cookie and fall on the ground in the North Pole and get licked up by penguins.
At lunch I had to sit at the peanut butter table and there were two packages of M&Ms in Peyton Parks’ lunch pale and Albus got a piece of chocolate in the shape of a Christmas tree and Richard’s mother gave him half of a donut with sprinkles on top. Guess whose mother forgot to put in a Christmas cookie?
It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Advent.
That’s what it was, because after school my mom took my baby brother to the doctor and Dr. Hu said I was scheduled to have a shot when I come back for my visit next week.
Next week, I said, I’m going to the North Pole.
On the way out of the doctor’s office I wanted to ride the reindeer set up in the lobby and my mom said it was not a toy and I said I wanted a toy snow man like the one in the play area and then while I was waiting for my mom to buckle me in the car seat I saw my baby brother chewing on my Olaf the snowman stuffed animal. I started crying because Olaf is all covered in slobber and because I wanted a cookie. When I finally got buckled in and tears were rolling down my cheeks my mom scolded me for not eating enough of my lunch.
I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Advent, I told everybody. No one even answered.
So then we stopped by Target on the way home to buy some new pajamas. Noah got Lego Star Wars pajamas with blue, his favorite color. My mom chose ones with snowflakes and candy canes. I wanted purple princess Rapunzel pajamas, but my mom said they don’t sell those here. So they made me buy the plain old red and green Christmas pajamas, but they can’t make me wear them.
When we picked up my dad from his office he said I couldn’t photocopy silly faces on the coping machine, but I forgot. He also said to watch out for the books on his desk and on his chair, and on his shelves, and I was as careful as could be except for my elbow. He also said don’t play around with the phone, but I think I tried calling the North Pole. My dad said, next time he’d ride his bike home.
It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Advent.
There were green beans for dinner and I hate green beans.
There was football on TV and I hate football.
I wanted to blow out all four candles on the Advent wreath during devotions, but dad said it was only the first week in Advent. Waiting again? I hate waiting. Then my bath was too short, I splashed water in my nose, my brother chewed on my favorite Little Einsteins bath toy, and I had to wear my new red and green Christmas pajamas. I hate my red and green Christmas pajamas; they are yucky.
When I went to bed I still couldn’t find one of my 153 stuffed animal friends – this time it was Chester the dog – and I said I wasn’t tired and that I was still hungry for a Christmas cookie.
I even had to sleep in my own bed.
It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Advent.
My mom says it’s only the first day of Advent. Some days are like that. Even in the North Pole.
But not all days. Because on the first Sunday of Advent you hear about Jesus riding into Jerusalem to die for us. Because on the 2nd Sunday of Advent we hear John the Baptizer prepares the way for Jesus our Savior. Because on the 3rd Sunday of Advent we hear how Jesus is the light of the world. Because on the 4th Sunday of Advent we hear how Mary is chosen to be give birth to Jesus who will save us from our sins and all of our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
Because of the days when it came to pass that a decree went up from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And that means no more terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
Only joyful, blessed, no bad, very good days. This Advent and always.