I love Christmas and at the same time, I think what the heck?!! Here are a few of the things that make Christmas, Christmas for us.
Firstly those bloody elves!! Ours arrive when the tree is decorated, which for us is December 1st, later than most Americans and earlier than most Brits…Trixie Pixie and Lemon Drop are twins and kitchen elves, one year later Candy Andy mysteriously turned up with them, who knows what he does in Lapland. Here he spends night after night creating chaos and mayhem with the other two. Here are a few of their escapades; stealing my car (found slewed across the driveway, after I ran around the empty garage yelling ‘my car is stolen!’), replacing our Christmas stockings with Andy’s underwear, putting up a tent and trying to light a fire on the deck, painting Imogen’s toenails while she slept, writing Ho Ho Ho in toothpaste on the bathroom counter, making a sleigh out of two little red chairs and tying up the dogs to the sleigh (or at least trying from the look of the ropes found hanging from the dogs collars in the morning), up turning furniture, swinging from the ceiling fans, making s’mores with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows on toothpicks over a candle, and tonight they have poured paint all over a little Christmas tree. Sometimes, very occasionally they will do something really nice, like bake and assemble a gingerbread house for the girls to decorate, but only if they aren’t too tired or haven’t drunk too much red wine….
We love to see the local performance of the Nutcracker. We have gone to this since Niamhy and Jojo were five and six years old. The older they get the more dancers we know, this year I knew 4 dancers from their schools and they knew as many more again. This year was also very exciting as the dream scene where the nutcracker fights the rat king used a lot of smoke – a lot. Then the strobe lights kicked in and I really thought it was supposed to reflect the flash of the rifles being fired, I could vaguely hear sirens as well and decided that was just part of the battle scene (ambulances removing the injured from the battle field?)…it was only when the dancers stopped and an announcement was made to leave the theatre as there was a fire, did I realize the truth…not that there was a fire – just a lot of special effects smoke – a lot!
Then there is our activity advent calendar, my mom always sends the girls traditional advent calendars from the UK, but just as exciting for them is our activity calendar. They open the door in the little house and find an activity; play board games together, get our nails painted with Christmas designs at the beauty parlor, make snowman pizzas, decorate a gingerbread house, watch a holiday movie, make Christmas treats for the neighbors, skiing competition Wii style. You get the picture – it is a lot of fun!!!
Finally, even though we are 1000 miles from the source, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies….Recipe coutesy of the one, the only, the Divine Delia… I have to admit that I sometimes add cinnamon, nutmeg or even lemon rind to my pastry…sorry Delia, I know not following your recipe exactly is a cardinal sin, but I can’t help myself…