- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
It was an early night. Bruce, Santa’s gift wrapping helper, fueled by a French dipped sandwich, red wine and grappa, was done early this year before midnight. Less presents perhaps? Who knows. A friend told me his 10 year old daughter found Santa’s wrapping paper in their car a couple of days after Christmas. She was not upset because she found out there was no Santa but felt sad that her mom and dads’ secret was over. That’s the hard part around here. Keeping the magic alive year after year for a pack of boys ages 6-18. When all was said and done, and I settled down for my long winters’ nap and the birthday fairy (just getting over bronchitis) was putting the final touches on the dining room for Ollie’s birthday on Christmas day, I thought I heard sleigh bells.
While visions of sugar plums are dancing in the boys heads along with the deal we struck with them that nobody comes downstairs till sunrise at 6:47 we hear a stirring at 6:00. Footsteps, plumbing sounds and finally voices. ”Sam, wake up.” “It’s dark outside.” “No, the sun is almost up it’s just cloudy.” “It’s Christmas!” “Sam, get up!”
We can’t hold them back any longer. Permission is granted to come downstairs. Christmas has come once again. Santa has brought, 2 girl guinea pigs for everyone, (we hope they are both girls) a manual typewriter for Sam, a Kindle for Ollie, a skateboard for Theo, a knights outfit for Simon and clothes for Henry.
It’s fairly civilized this morning with a fire going and Christmas music playing on the stereo. I start the espresso machine, put a pound of bacon in the oven and look into the downstairs bathroom and see Phoebe, Simon’s kindergarten pet dwarf hamster who we are taking care of over the holiday break, running briskly on her treadmill. I’m thinking the sound of her on the treadmill sounds a bit like the sleigh bells I heard last night.
A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Actually, there’s still a bunch of presents to wrap and the Birthday Fairy still needs to do her rounds before the morning light. Please sweet children let us sleep in till at least 6:00 AM.
Day #7 in the Advent Calender brought the boys some holiday stencils and paints to decorate the sun porch windows. They went right to work on this cold wet December day. Only mild grumbling ensued when the color black (which was not included originally as one of the colors) was deemed an absolute essential for snowman top hats, buttons, eyes and machine guns. This turned out to be a great activity which challenged their creative powers along with their spelling skills. HO HO HO.
I was fighting a cold, trying to get ready for a trip to Georgia and cut and drill as many wooden candle bases for the Ocean Charter School Winter fair as I could. I’ve been doing this for years and am thankful for still having 10 fingers and no gaping head wounds.
Our friend Teresita came over to knit and make paper window stars with the boys. She teaches handwork at the Pasadena Walfdorf School and always has a way of taming the hearts and souls of our beasts. It’s always great to see her and a special treat on a cold wet day.
Hot chocolate in hands and chicken soup in bellies, the boys continued their crafting through the entire day and into the night.
Everyday one of the boys asks how many days it is till Christmas and I answer, “It’s practically here,” in reference to Dr. Suess’, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Yeah, I know using a kids book/ TV show as a way to feel kind of takes all the Waldorfy spirit out of the holidays but, I was raised on Dr. Seuss, Charlie Brown, Hot Wheels and Major Matt Mason. And, like Charlie Brown, I think we are all walking around in our usual state of mild depression, searching for the meaning of something. Something that’s practically here and yet here all the time.
After a few hours of sleep, preparations were being made for Ollie’s birthday feast. Once upon a time (6 years ago) on Christmas morning at 1:10 am Ollie was born and (again with little sleep)Â was made a surprise Christmas gift to us all.
Debbie fell asleep with Simon at nap time while I started the crown of pork sent to us by our “Maine course friends” on the bar-b-que. The pig came from Lobels’s of New York and was a true thing of beauty.
So, dinner is way behind schedule but it’s no problem because friends and family start arriving in the cold and drizzle and everyone rolls their sleeves up and puts together a truly great gathering. Again, we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s love and Help!