25 Comments

  1. Like getting lumps of coal would be a threat to those kids. That sounds like a suggestion that they behave badly, because then they get cool rocks

  2. @ Christine – My son just opened the first door of his Advent “minerals” calendar. By the time Christmas rolls around, he will have collected 24 cool rocks.

  3. Christmas Eve at our friends’ house a few years ago, I managed to sneak some coal into everybody’s stocking.

    Remarkably enough they all blamed one another.

  4. @ Bill – My dad put a lump of coal in my brother’s stocking one year. Unfortunately, he was young enough to take it seriously. He was still mad about it a year later, and wanted to return the favor.

  5. I learned recently that – since you can transliterate more than one way – they always spell Hanukkah so it has 8 letters for the 8 days. With a “ch” it’s “Chanukah.” One n and one k. If they drop the c, they add a k.

  6. Once upon a time, BobMyFormerBoss’ parents put a bag of licorice ‘coal’ in his stocking, supposedly as a joke. You know how little things like that can stay with you for years? Well, when he told me this story – we’d been working together for quite some time – you could see by the look in his eyes that it still hurt.

    He found a similar bag o’ ‘coal’, which turned out to be licorice/anise, and I loved it. After a few years, he could no longer find it (that’s the kind of boss he was, and friend he still is). I like to think that I mitigated his hurt feelings somewhat.

  7. Argh….

    My mother used to put an orange if you were good and a potato if you were bad. And both if you were a little good and a little bad. And everyone always got both. But being kids we never noticed it was consistent and we always assumed it was a true evaluation and we always took it in stride as that seemed a fair enough assessment.

    And one year my mother only had two potatoes kicking around the house. And frugal practical industrial mom rather the than scraping together some other symbol of being bad (maybe a note with a drawing of a potato) or leaving the potatoes out altogether chose to give my younger sister and me an orange and a potato and my older sister just an orange.

    My god, were me and my little sister pissed. You’d think my mom would have learned her lesson but no… next year she was missing an orange and…

  8. “Christmas Eve at our friends’ house a few years ago, I managed to sneak some coal into everybody’s stocking.”

    When I was but a young lad, one Christmas morning I got up in the early wee hours, went downstairs, hid my little sister’s Christmas stocking loot, put in a lump of charcoal… and went back upstairs to bed. The wailing, the gnashing of teeth, must have been audible a whole block away. Somehow*, my mom figured out I was behind the scam, and my protestations that maybe it was just that Santa had higher standards for “nice” that year, fell on deaf ears.

    Now, almost 4 decades later, she tells the story as a humorous anecdote. I think the therapist really helped.

    *there weren’t any other kids in the household.

  9. ignatzz (who apparently lasts for 7 days): How do they spell it in Hebrew so they get eight letters out of it?

  10. There must be LOTS of naughty kids (and adults) about . . . the item is unavailable.

    It was not the only example. As noted by Chak, some were for gum.

  11. @ Chak – We didn’t buy the calendar this year: my in-laws dug it out of some cabinet (still in nearly new condition) after my son developed an interest in minerals and gemstones earlier this year. The stones in it are only semi-precious at best (such as “mountain crystal” as a fancy synonym for quartz). I wasn’t able to turn up anything comparable in a quick online search.

  12. In middle school Sex Ed class we learned that women have the Labia Majora and Labia Minora; or in the case of Jewish girls, Labia Menorah.

  13. “In middle school Sex Ed class we learned that women have the Labia Majora and Labia Minora; or in the case of Jewish girls, Labia Menorah.”

    The dirty limerick my Jewish father used to recite about this subject is, Thank goodness, unprintable.

  14. “The dirty limerick my Jewish father used to recite about this subject is, Thank goodness, unprintable.”

    Let me guess… before he’d tell it, there was two hours of begging?

  15. ADVENT CALENDAR! Well as late as the decorations will be this (and every other) year, I usually remember the the Advent calendar and put it out by December 1!!! I am making a reminder in my cell phone to ring when we go upstairs later to take it off the back of the door in the teddy bears’ room (spare room) and put it on the front of the office door and put the first 5 ornaments on the tree!

  16. The first time I went to a hi-fi store and shopped for a separate-components system, the speakers I looked at most closely were brand Advent, a somewhat hot reputation at the time, as one of the first consumer models to use “air suspension”.

    Anyway, there was a bit of obscurity about the name, with varying stories that it was just another meaningless brand name; that there was an established business sense of “an advent product” meaning innovative; that it was a different established business sense, meaning “release date, new release”; and finally that it actually did mean something to the company founder in terms of the tradition surrounding the Christmas season. I never really found out.

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