Every year, I vow to do less at Christmas, and every year it still ends up hectic. Because of an early Thanksgiving, most Christmas duties seemed to be done, but now it’s the week before Christmas, and everything’s going on.
On Tuesday, the homeschoolers organized a craft day. Kelly loves making crafts, so I couldn’t resist. It was everything promised and more. Kelly spent 3 hours working on the prepared projects, and still didn’t get to do all of them. Her favorite was putting together a “gingerbread” house. And she was a good girl who didn’t snack on the ornamental candy.
In fact, it was such a shindig, that Santa himself showed up. Unfortunately, Kelly still has serious Santa issues. Kelly started screaming in terror every time he appeared. I took her out of the room with the gingerbread houses and into the main craft room, but then Santa came to the main craft room, and another fit ensued. Kelly begged to be taken home, and I was about to collect the materials for a craft or two she could at least do at home, when one of the organizers arranged to have Santa hide in the bathroom so Kelly could be escorted a the official non-Santa room.
All the other children had pictures taken with Santa. I got a picture of his back, because Kelly found the fact that Santa had a diet Coke in his hand somewhat comforting. She laughed and said “Look, Santa’s drinking a beer!”
So…a Santa who wants to talk to you is bad, but a beer-guzzling Santa who ignores you is ok. Hmm, I’m not sure this bodes well for Kelly’s Christmas karma.
Kelly and I deliberately avoided Neil’s cub scout Santa races that night specifically because of Kelly’s Santa issues. The next morning, Kelly’s homeschool group painted sleds at a local park, another irresistible craft project. That afternoon, we went to Borders to inimitable Andrew read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and lead the children carolling around the store:
Afterwards, he not only gave the children treats, but an entire gift bag of goodies as well.
And then came the interminable cookie making. Now I like cookies, but Christmas calls for a lot of cookies, and at least half the cookies I make are consumed before being packaged and reaching their destination. So that means I not only have to make infinity cookies, I have to make double infinity cookies. Ok, maybe not infinity, but it sure feels like it. I even decided not to make cookies for the neighbors, and I still had to make “ethnic” cookies for Neil’s class; cookies for a cookie exchange; cookies for Tamara; and cookies for the office. And that still doesn’t take into account guilt cookies for the neighbors who brought us cookies yesterday, and cookies for Andrew.
And to top off the drama, I decided to make Russian mint cookies as the multicultural thing for Neil’s class. They’re actually made with a syrup base, which made them a little more like a merengue than a cookie. I was so tired after I’d mixed up the second massive batch, that I put the dough into the refrigerator, with the intent of making the cookies the next day. Turns out syrup hardens into candy when it gets cold, and I just ended up with a big ball of hardened rough dough. Luckily, Peter showed up to take over the end of the infinity cookie making project, even though the chocolate chips he wanted had been discontinued.
So, while I love Christmas, I think I’ll be relieved when it’s all over, and we don’t have to worry about Santa sightings.
How I dealt with Mary’s Santa anxiety: tell her the truth. I did that when she was three and it hasn’t hurt her any. Though, I don’t think D’Andre (???), the boy who sits next to her in class, was too happy when she informed him Santa was a big fake.