Use an Advent Calendar to Count Down to Inauguration Day With Chocolate

Every four to eight years (usually eight, but not everyone’s a winner), our nation celebrates one of its most exciting traditions: the inauguration of a new president. It’s never less than a heady, intoxicating time—the ceremony! The pomp and circumstance! The playful posturing over crowd sizes! The mere idea sets me off on a hunt through Prospect Park for a bald eagle to salute.

For some inexplicable reason—pandemic fatigue?—I am looking forward to the Jan. 20, 2021 inauguration more than any before it, or at least any since 2008, when a dream team of an Inaugural Committee put on quite a show (opening the full length of the National Mall for the first time ever). That’s why, this time around, I’m counting down to the big day with an Advent calendar (even if this year’s ceremony is likely to be mostly virtual).

I know what you’re thinking—Advent calendars are all about marking the start of the liturgical year and ticking off the 25 days that take us to Christmas, with daily candy, and Christmas is in two days! But if they’re an annual tradition for you, it’s probably because you have kids, and the only reason your kids care about Advent calendars is because each small treat or mini-LEGO set brings them one day closer to the unbridled avarice of Dec. 25.

Think about how excited it makes them, and then remember that there are also 25 days between Dec. 26 and Jan. 20, and that you can probably pick up an extra Advent calendar for 50% off at Walgreens on Boxing Day.

If you don’t want to spend the money, I suppose you could make your own, stuffed with bespoke goodies—perhaps you can print out your own Congressional Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies trading cards, one for each day?—but I favor good old chocolate. It’s the 2021 Presidential Inauguration! If celebrating that is not worth a few extra calories, I don’t know what is.

This article was originally published on Dec. 2, 2020 and updated on Dec. 23, 2020 with updated context and a new headline.

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