Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Santa Claus’

God, I hope not!  It is still really dark outside and I hear the pitter patter of little feet approaching my room.  You know even without opening your eyes that there is someone in your presence;  Sure enough, Francesca is looking at me!  I say, “What are you doing up? Is the owl green?” She just looks at me…There is an owl light in the girl’s bedroom and all night the light is yellow but it’s set for 7am and the rule is you don’t get up until the owl is green!  (of course you can get up but you have to stay in your room till 7am) So I suggest that it’s quite possible that since it’s still dark,  Santa might be still putting presents downstairs under the tree.  Still no response just an adorable smile which is hard to see because it IS still dark.  I look at my phone and it’s 6:30. “Frankie, c’mon I’ll take you back to your room and then in a little while we can go downstairs”

I figured we had maybe another 15 minutes to rest before Christmas mayhem began.  I had been hoping to give the girls some of their presents on Christmas Eve so they wouldn’t be lost in the mound of treasures  left by Santa, but that didn’t work out.  Finley can read and we thought it would nice if she distributed gifts.  That lasted about 2 minutes and then the mad cap ripping began with me periodically shouting, “Check the name on the box first”.  That was followed with “How come she gets two books?  How come she has gel pens and I don’t ?”

Ruthie Wearing Her New Silk Pajamas

Ruthie Wearing Her New Silk Pajamas

Eventually all the Hello Kitty paraphernalia  was uncovered, the American Girl dolls now had a bed of their own along with new clothes.  Best of all Frankie and Rebecca had matching pj’s and Finley and Ruthie had matching dresses with leggings.  There were books, and more princess dresses  (Really! How many Disney princesses are there?) bean bag chairs with each girl’s name and a teepee.  Well if your tent is shaped like a teepee but it is made from pale pink striped cotton duck, is it still a teepee?  I gave Frankie a book which I thought she would enjoy and she took one look at it and said, ” I don’t like this book”.  I asked her why and her answer was, “I only like Princess books”. Francesca always speaks her mind;  Earlier, the girls emptied their stockings and discovered candy cane holders filled with M&M’s.  For days, there has been MUCH discussion about healthy eating, what’s nutritious, should we cook everything in coconut oil and on and on  So Frankie wants to open her candy and eat some before we open presents.  Justin is horrified and tells her “No, no we have to breakfast first” .  Frankie states the facts as she sees them, “I LOVE CANDY”.

At about this time, in rolled the rest of the gang.  Of course our whole entourage could not fit in one house so Chiara and Tom rented a house nearby for the overflow of guests.  We’re leaving tomorrow, some are leaving on Saturday, some are staying longer and the guest room sheets have been changed every couple of days.  First to arrive for the opening of the gifts were Dennis, Brad and Tom Sr. and Lisa.  Linda and Ed were expected shortly;  They were flying in from Long Island.  

More gifts…oh no roller blades.  And who thinks that the girls should put them on right now and try them out?  Well I’ll tell you it wasn’t any of the mothers.  It was the two bachelors and Tom!  Sometimes it’s hard to tell who the kids are and who the adults are.  We got everybody back into the house and just as I thought we might have breakfast, there was open more present to be had – the girls were ushered to the garage where they came upon not a midnight clear but rather a battery-operated  car! It seats 2 and with Finley at the wheel, the girls were tooling around the yard.  Everybody thought they were so cute until Finley stepped on the speed pedal and veered toward the pool! At least 3 of the grandparents screamed.  “BREAKFAST IS SERVED”

Egg casseroles, bagels, croissants, fruit salad, and muffins and by God we are in Florida because half the people are eating outside.  The mimosas are flowing and the adults are happy.  The kids are eating whatever they want  and sitting outside in the sunshine it surely doesn’t seem like Christmas.  We are going to take it easy for awhile before we have to be at Laura’s house for Christmas dinner.

Stay tuned for Part II.

 

Read Full Post »

Cover of "North by Northwest"

Cover of North by Northwest

Monday 6:30 am Oh what a night….I’m not sure that I ever fell asleep, I know I dozed now and again because I have some remembrance of short dreams.  Trying to sleep in the seat was just awful; No way to get comfortable, no way to stretch out your legs and as I had been warned, it got really cold in the car last night.   I kept clutching my cotton shawl around my shoulders and arms.  The eye mask and neck pillow only helped a little.  I doused my eyes with drops in hopes that they would stop feeling like sandpaper and asked Peter to get us coffee.

He brought back two steaming cups of tasty coffee and convinced me that we should go to the dining car for breakfast.  I really didn’t want to be in bright lights but ok, he wanted a real meal so we went.  It was still dark out!  This is a trip of many firsts;  I’ve never traveled this far or overnight on a train before, I never ate in a dining car and I surely never  saw the sun rise in Savannah Georgia sitting at the window of a lovely dining car!  We sat across the table from a nice man and his young son who were on their way to Florida to celebrate Grandpa’s 100th birthday!  It was really nice sitting at a table with a white tablecloth and having someone wait on you after the hours spent in our seats eating carrots and humus and fitfully trying to catch some zzzz’s 

It’s now 8:30am and my husband is already napping – he who claimed 4 hours of sleep was quite enough for him!

NOON  We didn’t make reservations for lunch, the food is not so great  for the price so I guess some of now warm snacks left from yesterday will be our lunch. I just watched my travelogue documentary on the Northern Lights narrated and starring Joanna Lumley.  I love this film; I want to duplicate her journey, it was amazing!  We are just past DeLand which is southwest of Daytona so we are still pretty far north in Florida. I’ve been tracking our progress with the GPS on my phone.  I can see and feel just how long this day is going to be.

The rest of the afternoon was all about reading and looking out the window and standing in line to go to the rest room.   Actually there was no line at the end because both the toilets weren’t working, but this is probably  TMI.  Overall, the fact is that riding an Amtrak train is certainly not the Orient Express.  Okay of course it’s not the Orient Express, The Blue Train of South Africa, and for sure my trip in no way resembled  the trip Cary Grant took in  North By Northwest.

Anyway it was absolutely wonderful to step off the train and be greeted by my daughter and my sister-in-law.  Soon we were at her house, the kids came running out and the smiles on their faces and the shrieks of “Gig, Gigi” made all the long hours of the night before seem very far away.

The girls have been staying up late the past few nights with all of the company arriving at their house  and so convincing them it was bed time took a little negotiation and a LOT of “but what is Santa going to think?”  I even invoked the ELF last night!  Surely you know about the “ELF”.  He  or she ELF is endowed with magic powers which allow the ELF to report back to Santa Claus each night on the day-long behavior of the house’s young denizens.  Not only does he snitch, he also moves around so each morning you have to find him – it’s always good to know where your elf is.  However, I can see that the real issue here is what do we use as leverage after Chistmas?

You know the luxurious feeling advertisers try to describe like a bubble bath, a certain lotion or even your bed at some  national chain hotel?  Well, when I laid my weary body down on the bed last night, I thought I had never felt anything so soft and cosy and comfortable!  AHhhhhh!

Read Full Post »

English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny.

English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The jury is still out on whether or not encouraging belief in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy is a good idea or a very bad idea.  Mmmm

Personally I think instilling fantasy into your chid’s head at an early age, only makes it easier for them later in life when after 20 years with the same person borders on extreme boredom.  Lucky for me, my parents allowed me to believe in everything for as long as I wanted to pretend I still did.  These early-in-life lesson are invaluable when it comes to faking an orgasm, don’t you agree?

I think my first reality was around the Easter bunny.  You know the concept  was just too far-fetched.  I mean, was this rabbit the size of an adult. How did he get from house to house?  He didn’t have a sleigh and he, heck we don’t even know if he was a he or a she and either way, there were no wings!  And why would a rabbit be delivering eggs?  Where did he get them?  I never saw any Easter chickens just Easter chicks.  Well besides all the hard to believe stuff, being Catholic, it was also not so easy to get into the frivolity aspect of Easter.  After all it followed 40 days of somber repentance, deprivation, fasting and lots and lots of church going.  And as if the 40 days of Lent weren’t serious enough, the last 3 were downright psychologically disturbing!

There was Holy Thursday and off we went to some service – Church in the middle of the week! And just when it was getting to be lighter later and all of us kids wanted to play hide and seek after supper.  That was only mildly unpleasant,…what followed was much worse.  Good Friday dawned and you knew this was not going to be a fun day at all. There was no loud laughing or running around and of course no meat at any meal.  Between 12 noon and 3pm, you could hear a pin drop, silence was encouraged.  I went to parochial school so I think we definitely had the day off.  If you hadn’t been to confession by Good Friday, you were surely going that day!  Since I had made my First Communion while in second grade, you can only imagine the terrors that dark little closet-like cubicle held for an 8 year old!  Then it was off to a very long, very somber service.  There were the Stations of the Cross and think about those horror scenes described in detail as heard by a young child!  My daughter doesn’t want Finley to watch Squarepants Sponge Bob or Kung Fu Pandas and my father took me to hear the Stations of the Cross and to witness this gigantic crucifix laying across the altar steps and people went up to kiss the feet or something! YIKES!

One more day before we finally get the candy!!!  Holy Saturday was another quiet day but at least I didn’t have to go to Church.  Instead we were allowed to play quietly on the front steps – I remember playing jacks with my two friends in the afternoon.  Things lightened up a bit by Saturday night;  Grandma and Grandpa arrived and lots of food preparation was underway for Sunday’s big dinner.  After a bath before bed, my clothes were laid out for big dress-up event of the spring – your Easter outfit.

Patent leather shoes, a new dress, a lightweight duster-like coat and of course a hat.  White straw with maybe a navy blue ribbon edging and flowers on top.  My dad always got my mom a corsage and I used to get a wristlet corsage of pink baby roses or pink carnations.  Dressed up and decked out, we went to High Mass and after (and only after) Mass, we went home for breakfast and our Easter baskets.  I have to say one of the most liberal moments in my upbringing was that I was allowed to eat as much candy and eggs in my basket as I wanted to.  Maybe my parents thought the sooner the basket is empty, the sooner the sugar high would subside.

By noon on Easter Sunday, all was right with the world again.  The extended family was in residence, the Easter dinner was delicious, and there was chocolate and  more chocolate and more chocolate.  

Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy hung around a lot longer.  Not surprising since there was so much more in it for me than a hollow chocolate bunny and some jelly beans!  I say let the stories live on;  I always pictured the Tooth Fairy to look a lot like Tinkerbell.  Santa Claus surely looked like the Coca Cola image of St. Nicholas as far as I was concerned.  

What’s the point in telling your kids the truth?  You will only then have to come across with the latest toy fad or suffer the stigma of being the only parent who was unwilling to go to Walmart at 3am to stand in line to get that………(you fill in the blank since it changes every year).

So here’s the question again, Is the Easter Bunny coming to your house?

Read Full Post »

Christmas postcard, 1911

Christmas postcard, 1911

T’was the day before Christmas and all through the morning

No one was talking but I could hear all the groaning.

Tsk, tsk, tsk, not a good day to be mad,

‘Cause Santa knows who’s good and who’s bad!

No breakfast to eat, no paper to read,

Please go get me the Starbucks, I so desperately need.

Oh my how the years have come and gone by

No turkey to roast, no baking of pies.

The tree is much smaller and actually pink

Because we’re in the cottage, what did you think?

One or two gifts litter the floor

Hardly like Christmases years before.

It’s quiet around here, no sirens or noise

And of course no grandkids and noisy toys.

The cats hung their stockings in hopes that St. Nick

Will show up tonight and bring them  cat nip.

A different Christmas eve’s about to begin

Left-over pastas and martinis with gin.

Not trusting the programmers of commercial TV

We stocked  the house with Christmas DVDs.

First on the list is The Bishop’s Wife and 

Soon to follow, It’s A Wonderful Life.

Only the classics for us old folks you know

We like what like from years ago.

Last year was a gala ugly-sweater event

Tonight  a few friends but there’s no lament.

Although there’s no sitting by the fiery log

Or getting tipsy on killer egg nog,

None-the-less, we’ll enjoy the leftover food

And glasses of wine put all in a good mood.

As we clink our glasses filled with good cheer,

We wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I’ll put out the cookies and milk with a wish

That tomorrow morning I’ll find an empty dish.

Then I’ll know that dear Santa Clause stopped by to see

How clean the house was and how pink the tree!

I sent him my letter early on in the season

I wanted him to know I had a good reason.

It would take him some time and certainly some doing

Some planning, some cutting and lots of gluing.

I hope, I hope,  he thinks I’m not  too absurd

For wanting a “55 pink Thunderbird!

Oh YES!!!

Oh YES!!!

Read Full Post »

Don’t get so busy shopping for food, baking, decorating and gift shopping that you don’t leave time to do something for yourself.  Christmas is RED, no doubt about that – from Santa’s suit to the Cartier red-bow-wrapped store.  Everyone can wear red, it just depends on the shade.  Why people don’t believe that is a mystery to me!  Red lipstick and red nails are HOT!  RED is the color you want to wearing this season on your nails.

Essie makes several shades of red and I’m sure one of them would look great on you.  Take the time to get a mani-pedi before you give over all your time and energy to making Christmas fabulous for others. You deserve it.

Here’s the 9 Days Till Christmas 9 nail colors:

  1. REALLY RED  – An award-winning truly rich red
  2. SNAP HAPPY – A red-orange, a warm red
  3. LAQUERED  UP – Red hot crimson
  4. RED NOUVEAU – The new must-have color is a fiery crimson 
RED NOUVEAU

RED NOUVEAU

5.  DRAMATIC DRACHMA –  An orangey red

6.  BIG BAG THEORY –  Brick red

7. LONG STEM ROSES – The name speaks for itself

8. JAG-U-ARE –  A gorgeous gleaming red

9.  SIZE MATTERS  – A blazing hot ruby red

10. LOLLIPOP –  Candy cane red

As usual as I always say….”Red Is Where You Find It”

Read Full Post »

Ho,ho, ho, Christmas is almost here! And what will be under the tree for me? AND what will be in my Christmas stocking?  As a kid growing up in the 50’s my Dad always made sure Santa filled our stockings with goodies.  It was most definitely a simpler time then and what went into the stockings usually wasn’t very pricey but oh it was fun to sit in front of the tree and empty out the contents, wasn’t it?  Only Santa knows what kids today expect in their stockings.  This is the kind of stocking I had growing up and I found two in an antique shop years ago so I still hang a stocking up every year!

"...and their stockings were hung by the fireplace with care..."

“…and their stockings were hung by the fireplace with care…”

There are several legends and versions of the origin of the tradition of hanging stockings the night before Christmas for Santa Claus to fill;  I grew up with the one about the young boys and girls in the Netherlands leaving their wooden clogs filled with straw for the reindeer out on Christmas Eve.  Then Sinterclass would leave treats for the children.  Later the clogs would become stockings and the saint would become known to all as Santa Claus.

Then there’s the legend of the nobleman with three daughters who lost all of his money through bad inventions and was forced to move into a peasant’s cottage.  The girls did all of the washing and cooking and had no chance of marriage because they had no dowries.  The girls washed out their stockings and hung them by the fireplace to dry and that night, knowing of the father’s despair stopped by the house after all had gone to bed.  He saw the stockings and was inspired to toss three pouches of gold coins carefully down the chimney, each one landing in one of the stockings.

Lastly there’s the North American theory dating back to the XIX Century;  Some believe that stockings hung by the fireplace was first mentioned by writer, George Webster in a story about a visit from Santa Claus and in an illustration by Thomas Nast

What did you find in your Christmas stocking?  I found all kinds of goodies like:

  1. A tangerine or orange was always in the toe
  2. Yo-yo
  3. A card game like Old Maid or Go Fish
  4. Jacks and Ball set
  5. Candy canes
  6. Hershey’s chocolate kisses
  7. Crayons or markers
  8. Chocolate coins
  9. Cellophane packet of cat’s eyes marbles
  10. Licorice

I wonder what Finley Ray expects to find in her stocking this year?

Read Full Post »

I always found an orange in the toe of my Christmas stocking.  There were nuts, some candy, and maybe a small toy.  What was in  your Christmas stocking?  If you never had one, this could be the year you decide that there really is a Santa Claus and if you hang your stocking from the mantle…who knows what you might find!  These stockings are original and unique, even your dog and cat get their own.

Red Ribbon Velvet Stocking

A classic stocking with a whimsical touch. Red velvet is delicately complemented with white and green ribbon accents. Personalized monograms are available for an additional charge.

To buy: $20, potterybarnkids.com

personalized stocking, velvet ribbons

Velvet Ribbons On My True Love's Stocking

Thomas Paul Tweeter Stocking

This 100 percent cotton stocking has a timeless design with a sweet winter scene. Also available in violet.

To buy: $30, velocityartanddesign.com.

scenic stocking, felt birds,

Twitter Stocking

Needlepoint Christmas Stocking

Designed in intricate needlepoint with a wool front and soft cotton velvet back, this stocking is hand-detailed and can be personalized with up to 10 letters at no additional charge.

To buy: $24.50, landsend.com.

choo choo train, needlepoint stocking

Choo - Choo Christmas Stocking

Skate Around Stocking

A playful approach to the traditional stocking hanging on the mantel. Made of poly felt, the skate’s “blade” can be personalized in light blue with up to 11 letters for an additional charge.

To buy: $24, landofnod.com.

ice skate, personalized stocking

Go Figure

Meow Cat Stocking

Make room for Kitty on the mantel. There’s no confusing stockings with this soft heather grey pick that has a special message for that four-legged friend in your home.
To buy: $13, crateandbarrel.com

kitty stocking, meow, pet stocking

For A Cat Named Socks

Personalized Pet Stocking

Dog bones meet cheetah print for an unexpected design for the furriest member of your family. Personalize with up to 10 letters for no additional cost.

To buy: $25, ballarddesigns.com

pet stocking, doggie stocking

Give The Poor Doggy A Bone

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »