Christmas week. Often melancholy as you get older. Having young kids makes it magical again.
This year was a combo of both, what with a raging pandemic but also with a nine year old who we think might have still believed in Santa...maybe? No matter what, she loved the magic of all the Christmas fun. She hardly mentioned the big man at all in the run up to Christmas day, but then let on that he would be filling our stockings. She did want to leave him snacks. But that was about it.
I remember being nine or ten and at Christmas I was pretty sure Santa wasn't real, but I remember feeling weird about just saying it or owning up to it. I kind of just played along and then the next year it wasn't a thing. So maybe next year it won't be a thing with Harper.
Kurt and I never really played up the Santa thing all these years. We just went along with whatever Harper said about it. I think we only ever did one photo with Santa and that was when Harper was one or two. I happened to be walking her through the mall in December and Santa and his elves were all just hanging out at their photo set up, no one else around. We popped in, did a photo and left.
My melancholy this year is, of course, pandemic lock down related. We normally do something extra or go somewhere extra - like take the train north or visit Maui. Harper has three weeks off for winter break every year, which is good and bad. Hard to just be STUCK IN THIS HOUSE. Winter break 2021/2022 is going to be EPIC.
Damn we better be much freer by then. I doubt we'll get the vaccine until late summer at the very earliest, if not later in the fall.
Ugh. Today is Tuesday 12/29 as I write all this. I'm just in no mood for upbeat happy thoughts. I'm not trying to be fake, but I'm also not trying to be such a downer.
Let's get to the pictures. That's easy to do.
For a full day last week, Harper wore my red high heels. At one point she mentioned "My toes get squeezed in these." And I said something like "Welcome to the world of uncomfortable shoes." Honestly though, I can't remember when I last wore those!
A late birthday present arrived!
Thank you note to her teacher to go along with our digital gift.
She helped me wrap gifts for Kurt.
Kurt had a nice morning with his pride.
Mr. Biscuit is getting much more adventurous. (Click to see him on the roof!)
We did a drive around our neighborhood to look at lights. Something that is a tradition for us! I feel like we have so few.
On Christmas eve I did some socially distanced gift deliveries and stood chatting outside one friend's house.
Kurt had his own wrapping fun.
After MONTHS of home bound life, Kurt decided to get super old school and make egg nog from scratch as well as pasta from scratch.
The egg nog tasted sort of like egg nog, but more like really rich melted ice cream. I had a couple sips and that was plenty. Glad Kurt only made a half batch.
Harper learned about the hard work to make pasta!
While we let the dough rest, we had some lovely pu-pus. (Along with Harper's dolls, wrapped in washcloth blankets.)
Then we rolled the dough and used the pasta machine to make it thin, then cut into pappardelle.
Once cooked we realized we didn't roll it enough times (even on the thinnest setting) and we cut them too wide. But it still tasted great with a little tomato/garlic/basil sauce I whipped up.
Harper went to bed kind of early...funny that. Leaving cheese and crackers for Santa and egg nog (TJ's, not home made). We He enjoyed it. Biscuit looked on.
The cats didn't do much to the tree itself, but damn, they could not get enough of the tree water. Constantly drinking it, then stepping over the presents.
The day itself started early with stockings on the big bed. I forced Harper to look out at the beautiful sky to the east.
Then she got to work.
Yes the cats got gifts too.
Then on to the living room for more gifst.
One of my all time favorite gifts from 2020.
Kurt got a slanket from the cats for all his cold winter gaming nights.
Later he turned into Palpatine. Not sure what that was about.
Harper's big gift was not a phone, but an iPod Touch. So she can listen to music. Before wrapping it, I opened it and took off a TON of stuff and disabled a ton more. Left the music app, plus garage band, and a few more. But she LOVES the weather app. It's all based on my phone (joint apple account) so she happily reads off very detailed reports from Los Angeles, Seattle, Maui, St. Albans and Lucca. It's a treat.
Harper also got a radio from Gammo! An honest to goodness radio (with usb ports and bluetooth of course) that Harper played around with for a while. That was cool.
More aftermath. Tennis bag also from Gammo with lots of other fun prezzies in it.
We had cinnamon rolls and bacon and eggs after.
Then started watching Wonder Woman 1984. (meh.) Biscuit got super cute and snuggly.
From Harper's new device. And also my BEST new sweater.
Dinner table prep.
Merry Christmas! Shout out to Sarah for the Christmas Crackers!
The menu was the exact same as Thanksgiving, down to the strawberry shortcake. I added some frozen cherries to mine.
We were very lucky to have all we did on Christmas.
On Saturday / Boxing Day, I took Harper for a long beach walk. TONS of surfers were out.
Can't keep a girl out of the water.
Willoughby enjoyed the slanket on Sunday, not letting Willoughby have a turn.
It was a long busy week-I'm briefly employed-and I was so happy to be done with work on Wednesday and finally finish everything up and relax.
What will 2021 bring? Better news, I hope. Well. We'll see how it looks after next week's run off election in Georgia. Yes of course I'm texting like a madwoman for that!