Oh good heavens, it's when? Monday? Christmas Eve? How on earth did that happen?
Sorry I've been rather absent. I keep thinking of lots and lots of things to share with you, writing paragraphs inside my head, but then I keep getting distracted by shiny objects and losing focus.
Here are a few of the thoughts I've been having, but forgetting to write for you...
Best Christmas Pageant Ever -
One of the things I most adore about having Jude attend a Catholic school is that we are able to have a "Christmas Pageant" without the concern that we're offending anybody's religious freedoms. We don't have to have a "Winter Festival" or whatever. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
You know, (she says as she veers off-topic...shiny object...) I have mixed feelings about this whole "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" thing. I celebrate Christmas, and therefore I like to wish people a merry Christmas. And it upsets me if somebody is offended by my sincerely wishing them a "Merry Christmas". I mean, if somebody wishes me a "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Winter Solstice", I gladly accept their well-wishes. Of course, while Christians endured a certain amount of mistreatment over the years, we are not the ones who have been persecuted over and over throughout history, and actually survived a genocide, so maybe I'm just talking out of my butt.
But I do absolutely hate that kids in most public schools aren't even able to mention Jesus in their "Winter Festival", but instead just sing songs about animated snowmen and such. I'd rather have the kids celebrate all cultures and faiths and sing a song about Jesus, and a song about Hanukkah and a nice Kwanzaa carol or two. That would be fun. But I have digressed...
Back when Jude first started at his school, his Christmas Pageants were, dare I say...yes I do...interminable. But a few years ago, one of the school moms stepped up and took over the music department, and has improved things tremendously. In typical Hollywood style, Jude's music teacher, Heidi, is an actress. Those of you who are Seinfeld fans will remember her as Susan, George's fiance who died when she licked the cheap envelopes.
Anyway, this year was particularly creative and lively and lovely. It opened with the lights in the church turned off, and all the children singing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen while the 8th Grade girls danced through, dressed in white and carrying candles. The 1st and 2nd graders performed this trippy Jamaican Christmas number, and the 3rd and 4th grades had a Hawaiian Christmas. Jude now knows all the words to Mele Kalikimaka and Silent Night in Hawaiian. The whole evening was short and sweet!
Jude and I went to Disneyland again. I must say, and I'm usually a bit jaded about the big corporate "the man" element of all things Disney, but that place really is magical during the holidays. Just gorgeous. And while we were at California Adventure, Jude made me ride his favorite roller coaster, California Screamin', and we took our best, ever roller coaster shot. Because I think it completely sums up our respective roller coaster experiences...
Farewell Baskin-Robbins -
Do y'all remember a couple of months ago when I wrote THIS POST about Jude's sweet friendship with Abel, the man who owns the neighborhood Baskin-Robbins? And how we go there almost every day on the way home from school? Well, we are both absolutely CRUSHED, because Abel has decided to close down the store! We are heart-broken, as is most of the neighborhood. Everybody went by over the last few days to have their last scoop and bid farewell to Abel, and his assistant, Vicky. Abel says that he simply doesn't want to "scoop ice cream for the rest of his life", and will be opening some new kind of business in the same location, but he hasn't decided what yet. So hopefully, we'll be seeing more of him. But I'm really going to miss Vicky, who I've come to love. I suspect that most people just think of her as the "girl at the Baskin-Robbins", but I've found out that there is much more to her than decorating ice cream cakes. She is in the middle of getting her degree in Anthropology, and she's just finished writing a novel. Maybe this will give her the kick in the butt to get out there and sell her book. In the meantime, if anybody in the neighborhood wants a great babysitter, I've got her number.
Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe's-
'Tis the season! For those of you who must endure life without a Trader Joe's, let me explain. Trader Joe's makes a store-brand Oreo cookie knock-off called a Joe Joe. For many years now, they have, at Christmas time, put out Peppermint Joe Joe's, which are like an Oreo with peppermint filling. Heaven, right? But now...brace yourself...they have Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe's...
Which leads me to...
I am suddenly fat. I don't know how this has happened. Okay, that's a lie. I do know how this happened. It happened because I have been on the Eat Every Damned Thing You See and Don't Exercise Diet.
My plan, is to keep eating everything I see, but stop as soon as New Year's is over and get back to my running. Hopefully, this will be a successful plan.
As always, tonight is The Feast of the Seven Fishes. For those of you new to Second Blooming, I have taken up Jimmy's family's Italian tradition, and we celebrate Christmas Eve with a seafood feast. Seven seafood dishes plus dessert. This year we'll be having...shrimp, salmon, octopus, squid, scallops, tuna, mussels, clams, cod, crab and tilapia. Which is more than seven fishes, I know. I shopped for fish all day yesterday, and will be cooking all day today. I can't WAIT for tonight. I'm feeling strangely prepared, which means I must have forgotten something terribly important. I'll fill you in on all the details later in the week. Wish me luck!
Okay, is there anything else I've been meaning to tell you all? Hmmm...I'd better think fast before another shiny object comes along and distracts me. Oh yes! I know what it was...
Merry Christmas to you all!!!