i'm starting to feel bogged down by my report of christmas. like it's a history paper i should have turned in last week, this is quickly falling into the chore category. but, i want this christmas documented, so i've just got to do it. and quickly, if i can make myself sit down in front of my computer long enough to sift through all the pictures and write something, anything, that makes sense. here goes.
church program. i wish i had a recording of the choir. the music selected was much more traditional than the usual fare; old basque, german and french carols. so lovely and the tiniest bit complicated, adding to the interest. i sang a solo in "the angel gabriel from heaven came" and shockingly, managed to not sound like a goat. in fact i was really happy with my performance. and that's rare. the best part of this program was the timing. held on december 9th, i got thinking about what christmas really is early in the month, and there was plenty of time for the excitement to really build. the worst part was the complete break down the girls had during the entire thing. apparently they're no fans of me being up on the stand while chip sits with them in the pew (a complete reversal of the usual church experience). chip was able to hear about 1/16th of the whole thing. but honestly, it was really nice watching the freak outs and not having to deal with them myself.
decorations. chip is the christmas decoration master around here. this is his doing and to his credit. except for the crowd around baby jesus. eve took care of that.
lights at grand army. our neighborhood is certainly rough on the edges, but the location is ridiculously great. the museum, the botanic gardens, the library, the park all within three blocks. and around christmas time it is grand army plaza that we love to visit at night. the tree that changes colors and lights up the arch fascinates for all of us, and eve does a strangely good job of guessing the color the tree will be when we first come down the street to see it.
kid's work party. eve now thinks that everyday chip goes to a place where cotton candy is readily available, pigs in a blanket and chocolate milk are continuously supplied, photobooths hang out for your enjoyment, movies about santa and reindeer play on fancy t.v.s and all conference room tables are covered with countless sugar cookies. before this visit eve was convinced chip worked on the train, so at least she understands there's a building involved now.
rockefeller center. started out walking from chip's work, got really lazy really fast and so decided to hop into a pedi cab. worth every dollar. eve waved to the people walking by, the "driver" drove them by the american girl superstore which they had little interest in, and we all hopped out at the huge tree. rockefeller center is an annoying place to be during the holidays- always so crowded- but we managed to have fun seeing the tree and watching the ice skaters. except for ruth. she did not like the ice skaters dressed up as oompa-loompas. something about painted faces and white gloves. a terrifying combination for her. i should probably avoid the circus for awhile.
church party. ruth's first up-close experience with santa. not a fan. eve, however, summoned all her courage and was able to sit on his lap and tell him what she wanted without completely wilting. "i was kinda a little bit nervous, but so i did it anyway."
christmas eve. all our pictures from the event are useless, but nights like this make me think i want to live here forever. the palmers, beans, and jeppesens. such great friends with all our kids gathered together in a brooklyn apartment. of course they won't all stay, but for now it is almost magical being together on nights like this. excellent food, great laughter, a lot of singing (accompanied by guitar and violin- how great is that?) and a ton of dancing by the kids. the nativity acting was so sweet. ruth was primed to be mary but lost focus moments before we started and ended up being a lone, mostly naked, wanderer. but eve was a solid shepherd; her character of choice. the white elephant gift exchange was entertaining. we gave the sad earless and armless sock monkey to the beans and we scored a can of spam from the palmers. i'm calling it food storage.
after leaving around 10pm, eve shouted her "very christmas!" cheers to everyone and we made our way home. we dressed the floppy girls in their christmas pajamas, put out a cookie and egg nog for santa (despite ruthie's protesting that he come into our house) and watched them fall asleep within seconds of their heads hitting the pillows. chip and i set to finishing the wrapping, filling the stockings and getting everything just right for the morning. with the tree lights still glowing we got cozy in bed around 2am, and i fell asleep feeling more excited and giddy than i have in years.