On Friday, we went and chose our tree. Hearing that local trees were $60, we chose to investigate the Boucherville IKEA for the first time, where we got an excellent 6-foot pine for a very satisfactory $20. It was pretty frozen in its wrapped shape even when we cut off the twine, but by the next morning it had thawed and the branches had opened beautifully.
On Saturday, while HRH helped a friend move in the morning, the boy and I made gingerbread:
When HRH got back home that afternoon, we decorated the tree:
On Sunday, we went to visit Santa. We ended up going back to LaSalle to Angrignon Mall for this, because despite there being three major malls around our new house on the South Shore, none of them listed enough information to actually schedule a visit. Either they didn’t post hours ( “call this number during business hours for info” is not entirely helpful when one is attempting to make a schedule for the next day) or they posted hours but didn’t post where Santa was set up (Dix30 being an outdoor shopping complex with no obvious central indoor location on its maps). So back to Angrignon we went, expecting our usual Santa, but we got a different one who was very jolly regardless. We had the brilliant idea of lining up before Santa opened for business, but a billion other families had the same idea and so we waited for an hour. Thank goodness the boy is at an age where that kind of wait isn’t hellish. We did have a bit of technical issue with the photo, though; he was very determined to be serious, but Santa had other ideas and tickled him. Every time the photographer took a picture the boy either stopped smiling or his eyes flickered past the camera to look at the sea of people behind her, and she got very cross at one point. But we have a good photo, which is proof that the boy actually sat on Santa’s lap, something he hasn’t done since he was two years old:
When asked what he wanted for Christmas the boy told Santa about one specific item. “You don’t want anything else?” Santa said, surprised. “No,” the boy said. “Just that, please.” He’d listed four things in his letter to Santa and specifically requested one of them in person, figuring that if he asked for one he’d run a better chance of getting it. And Mama patted herself on the back for buying it last month.
We did a bit of last-minute shopping, then went home and packed up for our annual Yule musical afternoon with the Preston-LeBlanc household. We made a stop at HRH’s parents’ house, because they hadn’t been able to come by on the Saturday as we’d hoped, then ran into awful, awful traffic on the Mercier bridge while trying to get back onto the island. The boy fell asleep, thank goodness, because it took us an hour to cover what should have been a fifteen-minute drive. We were very thankful to get to Jeff and Pasley’s warm and cosy home to share finger food, drink, songs, joy, and the company of chosen family.
It was a very long day indeed, mostly very enjoyable, but I was really wiped by the end of it.