Weekend Scenes

>> 12.17.2012

Our kitchen project has taken over the house these past several weeks. Decorating hasn't been much of a priority. But then we realized it's already less than 10 days till Christmas, and -- thankfully for us -- that's plenty of time to deck the halls.

Our tree this year is a hot, sticky mess of multi-colored, multi-era stuff, including those postcards we use as decorations for Ada's birthday party.

I think we'll do this postcard decorating trick again, but with a different theme each year. I love our simple tree, and it's a great way to flesh it out. We've also discovered that the tree is a great learning tool.

A couple times a day, we take Ada on a tree tour and ask her to identify different things. She can point to the star (and will sometimes say "staahhh"). She points out the owl, which is her favorite word ("oaaawwwaahhh"). She also points out and identifies Santa ("sahhtaaa"). The kitties, of course. Also "baby" with my first Christmas ornament. She makes a RAWR sound for the lion. And "baaaah" for all the colorful balls.

Then there are times when everything we point out is an owl to her.

We have also placed several stuffed animals on the bottom branches so Ada can pull them off/put them back on without breaking something more precious or dangerous. So far, this trick has worked for us.

We found this cute winter figure at GoodWill Store on Friday. Still trying to figure out the best way to wash it, but for now, I think it's fine on the tree. Hopefully we won't be snuggled tight with bedbugs in our beds this Christmas Eve.

CHRISTMAS COOKIES. (And one Hanukkah cookie for good measure.) Not homemade, but still delicious.

Saturday we waited in a lengthy line to get Ada's photo with Santa. It's something we thought we'd skip this year, but as the photos of our friends' kids streamed into our Facebook feeds, we couldn't resist entering the madness for our own holiday shot.

After half an hour of waiting, the line was cut off one family in front of us. They said Santa needed a break, which is certainly understandable, albeit frustrating. So, they let us wait and eventually realized how ridiculous their arbitrary cutoff really was with only two families left at the end of the line.

After another 15 minutes of waiting, we got this great shot.

The quote? Well, I jokingly said to Santa: "Must be a lllooonnnggg day for you, St. Nick" (there were tons of screamers ahead of us). He leaned toward me, looked deep into my eyes, and -- in what Stephen has referred to as his "Black Lung Voice" (from too many bad kids getting coal, right?) -- said "It's been a lllooonnnggg life, darlin' . . ."

My jaw dropped. I expected some light platitudes.

Did he mean Santa's life? Or perhaps his own? Why did he have a burly southern drawl? So many unanswered questions. But that's the story of Ada's first creepy Santa experience. He looks jolly in the photo and was great with Ada, so we'll just hold onto that image.

Did you do anything festive this weekend to prepare for the upcoming holidays? Do you have your own scary Santa experience to share? I'm off to the post office to send some Christmas cards we finally finished addressing last night!

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