Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas 2017: A Shark and Two Mermaids (But No Pony)

Christmas at home.

I never wanted to give up spending Christmas with my Pappa--one thing about being raised by your grandparents is that for as long as you can remember, you've always known that we creatures are frail and mortal--but I've known for years that after he passed, I would dearly love to spend Christmas at home.

Last year, my first Christmas after he (and then Mac--god, what an awful year that was) had died, was me mostly getting through the holidays intact, which I did. Mostly. This year, however, I was able to find the sweet as well as the bitter, and as I thought I would, I dearly loved spending Christmas at home.

Thirteen, as well, is being kinder to my Will than eleven and twelve were, but frankly, being more comfortable in her skin has made her into even more of a terror, although in a different way. She consented to visit Santa this year, for the first time since she was ten, so that I could have my Christmas picture, but she came away from that meeting telling everyone she met that Santa was going to bring her a pony.

"Uh, no he isn't," Syd would try to correct. "He said he couldn't fit a pony cage on his sleigh."

"Huh-uh!" Will would insist, smugly, daring her father and I to so much as try to talk sense into her, "Santa SAID he'd bring me a pony!"

Strangers would ask her what she wanted for Christmas. "I'm getting a pony!" she'd announce, and just smile brattily at us when we tried to react to the excited squeals of everyone listening.

That kid. I swear.

Thankfully, Santa DOES have the sense that his mother gave him, because this is what Will found on her stocking on Christmas morning:

Her father and I have told her ever since we moved into this house that we would be happy to buy her a horse, but she'd need to do all the research and legwork to figure out exactly what infrastructure we needed and how to install it first, and figure all of the expenses so that we could work it into our budget. Thank goodness that Santa is on the same page!

Fortunately, Santa's replacement surprises seem to have hit the mark:
That's Choc-ola, a local chocolate soda that's actually not full of crap, so yay!
This  little one also had plenty of surprises:

She was just as excited to receive HER favorite dream food, gummies--and lots of them! 

My little crafter also made everyone else's gifts, too. She made Will a beautiful black lab out of Sculpey:

You can't tell as well from this angle, but she made me my favorite My Little Pony character, DJ Pon-3:

And she wrote a book for Matt, in a book that she actually bound herself:

That kid, I swear. 

We tried to make her gifts special, too:
Fat unicorns are kind of an inside joke in our family, so this is a fat reindeer.
Over the course of The Nutcracker run, I convinced all of the Mother Ginger Boys that they were in fact Mother Ginger's deadly assassins, and then I had to deal with them karate chopping and high kicking backstage when I was supposed to be keeping them quiet. Oops!

The kids thought that the present that they picked out for Matt was the funniest thing on the planet:

It's a potholder that says "Pizza's here!" on it, and has a picture of a family eating pizza around the dinner table.

Get it? We don't cook and instead order a lot of pizza!

Good times.

I had meant to make most of my family's gifts, but wow, why didn't y'all tell me that handmade gifts take a billion years to make! It was INSANE! In the end, I managed to make one small and one big gift for each kid, and the stuff that I had intended to make for Matt he's just going to have to get on our anniversary, because man, that did NOT happen. I had to send Matt and both kids out on a bunch of fake errands all day on Saturday just so I could finish panic-sewing Will's big gift.

 But yes, it was crazy, but it was so worth it. We now have a small mermaid--


...a girl-sized mermaid!

We also have...

...a girl-sized shark!

It's not a pony, but I do think that she managed to like it, nonetheless:

I love the fact that Christmas is at the beginning of the break, because now we can just enjoy each other, put together puzzles and do crafts and read together, and I don't have to panic-sew a single thing.

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