Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Performance

Of all the holiday performances, this is one of my favorite nights.  For about sixty minutes or so, all the little pianists are proud to show off their skills.  It's enjoyable to listen to all the familiar Christmas carols and to see the kids create the feelings of Christmas with their music.  With every student who walks up and takes their seat at the ivory keys, each parent in the audience knows the time and effort that went into learning that one song.  My girls began plunking away at Jingle Bells and Santa Clause is Coming to Town back in July and on this night, with all the arguing and protesting about practicing behind us, we get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  A magical evening to get you in the Christmas spirit if you weren't already.

It was all smiles when the night was over...maybe because we are one day closer to the holidays but the more likely reason is that there are no piano lessons for two weeks.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Party Circuit

It's that time of the year!  Time for concerts and parties and all that jazz.  Let's start with little sister's school concert.  It's getting harder and harder to get this girl into a dress these days so we settled on the hand me down penguin sweater.  Because really, she's a beauty no matter what she's wearing. Now that Callie's in grade four, she's no longer a part of the school concert...much to her delight.  I think the reason she's so glad not to be in the concert is the simple fact that she didn't have to get dressed up.  
We snapped a quick couple pics in front of our perfect Christmas tree and off we went to the school gym to here sister sing D'où viens-tu, bergère?  with the rest of her grade two class.  

Just because Callie wasn't a part of the Christmas concert that didn't mean she wouldn't get a chance to sing.  She had her chance to shine with the school choir singing a mix of traditional carols at a school Christmas party.  I hope my girls never stop singing. Especially at Christmas time.  

We moved on from concerts and choirs to our first holiday party.  This party if for kids of the school staff and we've gone to several of these in the past.  I asked the girls if they wanted to go this year, not knowing if they would since they are getting a bit older and wiser.  But they both said yes!  I'm sure I heard Callie tell Lexi that Santa comes to this party and if they go they get a present and that might have had something to do with the decision.  As it turns out, she was right.  Santa did show up with gifts for all the kids.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad they wanted to go.  And as long as they want to go and sit on Santa's knee, I will take them.  Because childhood is just too short and not that long ago I had to sit on Santa's knee with then hiding behind my leg. And I know that in the not to distant future they will non-nonchalantly sit on the big guy's knee just to appease their mother and to collect a gift that they act like they don't care about.  I know its coming.  So I am going to soak up these moments every chance I get, while I still have them.

There's nothing like concerts and carols and parties to get us in the spirit. Making memories with good friends and lots of laughs. Hanging out with my girls.  I'm just loving these merry days! We're counting down the minutes until our holiday officially begins! 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Perfect Tree.

This story starts off the same each year.  The phone rings and it's the local service group asking if we would like to order a Douglas Fir tree.  This year it was Lexi who insisted we go to the forest to get our own tree.  So I politely declined the pre-cut and delivered Douglas Fir tree they were offering but kept our name on the call list because who knows what will happen next year.

And really, just look at that tree line.  There's gotta be the perfect tree out there somewhere.

We set out on the old highway with Christmas carols playing and our hopes high.  Everyone looked out their window scanning the ditches for something suitable to string lights on.  "There's one!" someone shouts.  But upon closer inspection it's actually two trees intertwined.  So we continue on. Looking and analyzing. "Too bare, too tall, too fat, too hard to get at..." And just as we were about to lose all our Christmas enthusiasm... there is was.  The perfect Christmas tree.

There wasn't a lot of snow to contend with this year but the minus thirty temperature caused havoc on the fingers and toes.  Good thing there was hot chocolate, strings of lights and tree ornaments waiting for us at home.  But the funny thing is that a tree doesn't look as big in the forest as it does when you're trying to get it through the door.  

Getting this monster tree into the house and standing straight up was no simple task.  The tree stand was just not able to hold this beauty of tree no matter how much blasting wire we used to tie it to the wall.  I went to the store to see if I could find a more effective, sturdier tree stand but had no luck.  I can't lie and say that the pre-lit artificial trees that I saw while looking for the tree stand weren't looking very attractive at this point.  After great discussion about the kind of tree stand we needed but didn't have, we tipped the tree back on it's side and Jon cut it down to a smaller, more manageable size for the wimpy little tree stand that we had.  

After a full days work of tree hunting, tree erecting, tree decorating, and tree needle clean up we circle around to the same old question.  Is it worth it?  

In the middle of the fiasco, the answer was No!  Definitely not worth it.  But now that it's up and adorned with its lights and all the ornaments that each have a story to tell, my heart has softened. Maybe it wasn't that bad.  Maybe we can find a better tree stand for next year.  Or maybe we'll just order one from the service group when they call.  Who knows.

What I do know is that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here and I look forward to all the joy that is going to happen around our perfect Christmas tree. And that's worth it!