(A Christmas letter….of sorts)
So it’s Christmas time. And while lots of other people are travelling to see family members, and spending hours in the kitchen cooking just that perfect meal, the Johnsons are….packing.
Yes, it appears the pesky ‘sewage’ problem that sidelined us for the better part of a month last January-February came back. Back again. And so, as we considered spending another month-plus sharing two hundred square feet of living-dining room space, and the possibility that this may well happen again, we decided to move. Pronto.
But despite the despite the insanity of a December move it’s still Christmas. And we have three small boys. And they’ve been talking about nothing but Christmas for the better part of a month. So whilst I have already moved on from trees and trimmings and carols to filling boxes and donating three quarters of our belongings to Goodwill, the boys’ minds are very much focused on December 25.
Hence, for balance’s sake, it’s Christmas in the living room. And mayhem everywhere else.
The basement is an unnavigable maze filled with cardboard boxes containing our worldly goods. But in the living room, there are stockings, hung with (alphabetical care). And a sad little tree laden with more ornaments than is sensible. And there are ornaments strewn on the floor. Because we still have a two year old and that is what two year olds do: they rip ornaments from trees, carry them around the house for a bit, and drop them wherever they happen to be when something else catches their attention.
And despite the hectic-ness of it all, and my tendency to think this Christmas was ruined because of too many work commitments and crap in the basement, we have managed to squeeze much mirth into these four weeks of December.
We have decorated star cookies (or in Percy’s case – eaten yellow-orange frosting by the spoonful.) The professor toiled at the laser cutter to produce a beautiful advent calendar that had to remain hidden for much of the season due to a couple of technical malfunctions. We went on a couple of (‘underappreciated’) snowy walks. I did drag everyone outdoors on the second windiest day of the year for a second attempt at a family picture (avec tripod).There was a showing of Puss in Boots at the cheap ‘movie-thee-ter’. And a semblance of a family viewing of The Sound of Music – while small boys jumped on me and argued about the names of the seven children. ‘That’s Brebel!’. Gretel? The professor stayed up until 4am making caramel rolls for his boys. The same boys he converted to the pro-eggnog camp this year. (Blech!) I did stay up until 2am pretending – for the first time ever – to be Santa – all because the Gort offhandedly mentioned ‘maybe we could leave cookies and eggnog for Santa.’) We made snowflakes from coffee filters (thank you Pinterest) with less than fabulous results since my coffee filters are unbleached, of the brown-ish variety: resulting in snowflakes that more closely resemble dirty doilies. We made slime with Borax and Elmer’s Glue (Pinterest, again). And most memorably, we made frozen, colored water balloons.
You can be duped, as I was, by pretty photographs of frozen colored balloon shapes against white snow. Or, you can take my advice and bypass this project altogether. Unless, of course, you’re the type of person who enjoys driving to two dollar stores to find balloons. And hearing your husband kvetch about ‘how am I supposed to get colored water inside a balloon?’ and ‘how am I ever going to get this pink food coloring off my hands?!’ And unless you like having food coloring all over your white kitchen cabinets and the inside of your freezer.
Yes, the boys were very excited about these balloons. And yes, they played with them for exactly three point five seconds.
My advice? Make the slime. [But not for your four year old – who will take it upstairs and drop pieces in the hallway for other family members to step on and permanently implant into their socks. Hypothetically speaking.]
Wishing you and yours a slime-free Christmas.