Of course, it's February 2012, and I'm just now getting to posting about Christmas 2011! I believe Parental Unit #2 has yet to upload the photos of the joyous occasion, so at least I'm not alone. I wrote this post back on December 29. Let me just say for the record that writing and posting--are very much two different things. So join me as I take us back to December 2011...
The days have long passed since I subscribed to Martha Stewart Living, but let’s just say that once, I was quite the devotee. I tell you this now because when the holidays come, I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m not crafting up a storm, decorating my home with handmade loveliness or filling the kitchen with the smells of freshly baked cookies. I’m all about shortcuts—easy Rum Balls, pre-made sugar cookies, fondue mix. Yes, I did really use a mix.
And, doesn’t everyone know that Santa does not wrap his gifts—or how else would you know which gifts are from Santa? Maybe it's just his tradition for Queens. You see--shortcuts.
I opted out of making fancy advent calendars and ornaments or paper chains or popcorn and cranberry ropes for the tree or, heck, even Christmas dinner. Yet, I still feel that the only thing I did over December 24, 25, and 26 was help Santa, clean and heat up food.
On Christmas morning, Santa’s gifts appeared in Queens tradition. Thus it was that young Master B bounded with glee toward his coveted Chuggington Station Round House and Chugginton trains aka "Chuggies." And, an excited young Mistress Vivi exclaimed “Look Mommy! It’s a polar bear for cuddling! A cat keyboard! A Dora doll!”
Since young Master B was under the Chuggington spell for most of the morning, Vivian took on the role of handing out the wrapped gifts. He was also delighted by the electric train that our sitter, Raj, bought him because it was just like the train in his beloved Yule Log video.
If you are unfamiliar with the televised Yule Log tradition: very few New Yorkers have a fireplace, so one television station decided to air nothing but a tight camera shot of a crackling Yule Log on Christmas mornings. In the Age of YouTube, there are a bazillion versions of the Yule Log with music and without, featuring blue flames or an old-timey fireplace. You can imagine that we had Bert's favorite YouTube Yule playing during the present unwrapping festivities:
Note that young Master B often requests this video even when it's not Christmas! Of course, anything with a train is guaranteed to hold his attention.
Totally Random! Parental Unit #1’s Top Holiday Tune
Not that you asked, but I had to share this discovery— the Puppini Sisters’ cover of George Michael’s Last Christmas. Finally! The Puppini Sisters get the delicious pathos of this holiday ditty. Their use of the accordion is kind of brilliant. I know, I know you’re thinking, but what about the Florence & the Machine version? While I like what happens when Flo takes on the song acoustic style with the harp—she lets her pathos and ahem, screeching, take over at the end of the song. I hope you’ll give both a listen next Christmas.
My Favorite Holiday Moment
Perhaps, my favorite experience of the month was making gingerbread houses at PS150. First, young Master B was just over the moon to see me at his school. His class donned reindeer hats and sang Jingle Bell Rock, Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells . What is more fun than watching 4 year olds attempt a choreographed routine and sing their little hearts out? Making gingerbread houses –-with tons of storebought icing and candy. The kids could not resist sticking their fingers in the icing and eating it. The germ quotient was as high as the fun quotient!
I felt a bit guilty that I did not wake Vivi from her nap for the holiday fun -–but I could not break the sacred parental rule that has guided so many generations: NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING CHILD.
My Favorite New Year's Eve Moment
Parental Unit #2 and I conspired with Apparently and Mr. Apparently to hold a preschooler New Year's Eve, a party where parents could drop their kids off for a few hours. We even bought balloons for the occasion...
So what happens when 4 adults take on 11 kids? Something like this:
But at 9:30pm--c'mon people, preschooler New Year's Eve ends at 9pm not midnight--when I tucked young Master B into bed, we had the following exchange, notable because it's one of the few times he has expressed interest in my opinion.
Young Master B. “What was your favorite part of the party?”
Sappy Parental Unit 1: “Seeing my children happy with their friends.”