No, we still have no decorations up. But the candles I am burning daily have frankincense oil in them. I have a bag of pine cones from Jan and t!, a spool of Christmas ribbon, and a glue gun; who knows what can happen. Sparky has been enjoying his Christmas playlist. And HRH and the boy are currently off selecting our tree, which will wait patiently outside till Saturday when we can put it up and decorate it. The handmade gifts are almost complete (the play kitchen HRH is building for Owlet is to die for), the previously purchased ones are all tucked away in the attic cupboard, and other than picking up gifts for a last couple of children once HRH gets paid this coming Thursday, we are just about done.
In the meantime, we had a visit to Santa:
Wow, does this slight upshot from the photographer ever make the kids look more like one another than any other photo Iâ€™ve seen, although Sparky still looks more like me and Owlet looks more like her dad. The angle of the shot rounds out Sparkyâ€™s face the way it isnâ€™t in real life; he looks younger here. And how serious does Owlet look? She walked across the red carpet toward Santa with her arms out, but paused when she got to his chair and then wasnâ€™t as excited to actually be with him as sheâ€™d seemed to be before she got there.
It was a new Santa at a new mall, and we are always very nervous about new places since we are so sensitive to energy, but the VERY RED redesign of the Christmas set at our previous mall of choice was so offputting that we needed another option. A friend recommended this one out here on the south shore, and we loved it. We got there just before the awesome Santa went on duty, and he was walking slowly through the mall in his long cloak with brown fur trim, sprigs of holly in his hat, saying hello to children. And the mall had the old-fashioned moving scenes inside little cottages as decorations, the way they were when I was a kid. The photo was printed right there when you left Santa, and you could choose which photo of about five you wanted done; none of this waiting an hour for development and having to go with whatever the photographer caught or decided on him/herself. Weâ€™re definitely going back next year. Hurrah!
We were actually on our way out to see Santa yesterday morning when Sparkyâ€™s old preschool/daycare director called and asked if we wanted in on a breakfast with Santa party that was starting in half an hour, as she had an extra ticket. A bunch of his old friends were going, too, so we said sure! The kids had a blast colouring and eating pancakes. The Santa wasâ€¦ well, he tried hard, but the suit was patched with duct tape, and the pillow in his jacket was very obvious, and his blue-tinted transition lenses werenâ€™t standard Santa issue. But he was very jolly, and Sparky hugged him, and Owlet wasnâ€™t scared at all. And it was marvellous to see some of the old parents we used to see when Sparky was there for two years, and to see the fresh batch of babies, and the toddlers Owlet will be pals with when she starts there next fall, who are the little brothers and sisters of kids who were there when Sparky was. The preschool alumni were running around together afterwards, and it was interesting to observe how theyâ€™ve all grown and become big six-and seven-year-olds, but you can still remember and see the little three- and four-year-olds you knew.
We had an early Christmas present this year, too:
When I got back from taking Nixie to the vet for the last time, there was a digital piano waiting for me. We inherited it from Ronâ€™s aunt, who is destashing various things from her daughterâ€™s childhood, and my in-laws brought it over when they came to stay with Owlet while I went out. Itâ€™s a Roland ep-7, so itâ€™s technically a digital piano and not a keyboard. Iâ€™m actually impressed at how much more like a piano it sounds and feels like than the keyboards Iâ€™ve messed around with in the past. Weâ€™re pretty excited. Both kids love it, and both play on it often. I can even play a version of ‘Good King Wenceslas’ on it, complete with what I want to call left-hand double stops, but which are really I-III chords missing the V. Itâ€™s got surprisingly good tone for a digital, and the keys are weighted. It has 76 keys, so itâ€™s short one octave, but Iâ€™m not complaining! We are very, very grateful.
And so we enter the final week before Christmas. I leave you with some photos of the Christmas cookies that Sparky made yesterday: