Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012: some thoughts and photos

With all the guests randomly stopping over, and the dinner party at my house, I was so afraid that the top scene of this cartoon was going to be my house between guests on Christmas. I will admit, keeping my house in a state of semi-perfection can be a challenge for me and the kids, even on a regular day.

Pipe cleaner collection
I like the toys that inspire imagination for my kids.  Imagination doesn't tend to stack well on shelves or fit in neat rows. Imagination doesn't always clean up after itself. Part of imagination is having a tolerance for not knowing what is coming next and spontaneously combining ideas from things that were supposedly separate. It's not a tidy philosophy, but I do like to let play time take over for a while.  There is inevitably the point in this process when enough is enough, play time is over. We must clean up.  For Christmas I let the reins go more than usual in this regard for the kids and I made the conscious decision to focus myself on making the food amazing and minimizing mess control in between food prep and talking to my lovely guests. The kids and adults appeared to very truly enjoy sharing the spirit of Christmas together and my apartment felt like a comfortably populated warm home with an eye level window view of the first snow of the season.  Sigh.  The presents I gave them this year included an incredible collection of pipe cleaners and a special box filled with brightly colored feathers.

The kids managed to sleep until 8, which I thought was totally fair. We all woke up and together we all checked out the living room. Bea and Vinny were in their new pajamas so that they would look nice in pictures. This is a Colbert tradition I've adopted thanks to Christmas eve with Arlene and Mary Ann. Bea's Christmas jammies this year made her look just like a leopard.  Thanks Mary Ann! How cute. Funny that I bought some kitty ears totally separately that just happened to match perfectly. Santa must be psychic! At least he was when I was a kid. Now that I'm grown I have to figure out how to be the mind reader. Oh wait, no I have to find a way to conjure up money.
Kitty Bea waking up slow next to a family of sledding penguins.
I took the kids to visit Santa sitting on a throne in a fake plastic version of the North Pole at Eastview mall. Vinny wanted to touch the fake snow just as bad I remember wanting to touch it. It's that seemingly built in human yearning for the thing just beyond our reach.  Put the gifts on a charge, buy a brand new mini mansion in a cookie cutter configuration on a road named after something humans are destroying on this planet, live life on the edge. I bet Eastview uses the exact same rolls of quilt stuffing and white cellophane sparkle snowflakes they used at that mall when the carpet was green and I was a kid in a stroller.  I remember Mom used to like parking at Woolworths or Fay's Drugs.  I remember sitting in the car outside Sears watching it snow while Dad loaded our brand new long needle fake Christmas tree into the car.  I remember my parents talking about keeping it forever.  I remember my Grandmother talking about downtown, and I think of Midtown.  It's a hole in the ground. I wish I could ask her about her visits there.

I feel old and worn as a Mommy of two approaching Christmas. I don't want to teach them to over-do as I think I was taught.  I want to teach them to center themselves and live life awake.  Bea asked Santa for a pink whistle with a bird on it.  Vinny wanted trombone.  Santa looked at me inquisitively and told the kids he was stumped.  I just said, "I guess that's what they want." He told them that he wasn't sure if he could do that or not, but that he would try.  A pink whistle with a bird on it is pretty specific, and a trombone is likely very expensive.  He managed to find a pink recorder and put a bird sticker on it for Bea. Vinny somehow got his hands on a slide whistle, but I'm not sure where that came from. Wishes were fulfilled, though I didn't spend $20 on the pictures.

Vinny thinks his new saw is amazing!
We let the kids open the presents very slow. They seemed to want to take a good look at everything before moving on to the next thing. I fought my childhood inclination to open all the presents fast and then play with them when no one is around.  Santa brought Vinny an amazing work bench constructed of wood including wooden screws, nails, bolts, pre-drilled lumber, and cubes to help fasten the lumber together in various configurations.  Mat started putting that together as I began brewing an extra yummy pot of coffee.  This toy is amazing and Vinny hasn't stopped playing with it yet. I found it for $60 less 15% at a great big store that at least pretends to care about human rights and the environment.  Bea's best present was a digital camera.  She has been taking tons of pictures of the most random things.  She's admittedly jealous of Vinny's yoyo.  Vinny is very jealous of Bea's Monster scaring flashlight. I'm proud to report that they have been playing together nicely, especially when they decide to share new toys.

We celebrated Christmas eve with the Colberts where we helped decorate the tree.

My best attempt at photographing overtired Vinny decorating the tree at Grama and Grampa's house.

Vinny made an interesting attempt at wearing a stocking.
 The day of Christmas I did not leave my home.  Here are a few photographic highlights.

Centerpiece for the dinner table!

Close up of my pink Christmas tree.

Bea is just cute.
Dad carving the perfectly cooked, perfectly timed prime rib.
I made a feast for eight people this year.  The prime rib roast came out perfectly medium rare and delicious.
The tiniest cutest ladybug!

Bea opening a present carefully selected by Mama and Auntie. Finger print art!

Decorating the tree with Mom and Dad Colbert

Bea flipped when she opened this.

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