Holiday Fun

I am a sucker for holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Those three holidays make the dreadfully dark days and nights of early winter bearable. And in spite of the high stress levels that have come with economic meltdown, this season has been exactly what I always wished for when I imagined my own grown-up Christmases.

First, for Thanksgiving, Charlie and I watched the Macy’s parade on TV. He loved it. I loved it. We called everyone in my family, and they loved it. (Except Nanny and Pawpaw, who I think loved not having to watch it.) Then we headed to New Jersey with our wonderful friends Mike and Ruth. The Orlowicz clan took us in, treated us well, served us tons of good food (and the best pumpkin pie ever), and let Charlie play with all of their instruments, from a piano to a guitar to the bongo drums. We tossed leaves in the backyard and played tag. We drank warm tea and sang all the songs Charlie requested on the back sun porch. We missed our folks in GA, but we felt truly grateful to have such caring, generous friends in our lives.

Next, New York at Christmas! It is lit up and filled with romance and wonder. I can’t get enough. Charlie can’t get enough. Jesse…he says he’s had plenty and doesn’t need more, but we don’t believe him.

Last weekend, we all went into the city together to see Macy’s windows, visit the small book fair (where I got the coolest book about Christmas; I will soon be able to make my own snowshoes), and see “the big Christmas tree” at Rockefeller Center. We saw a few Santas without permits being arrested, and we saw four gigantic Elmos. Also, displays of lights all along 5th and 6th Avenues. Magic.

Today, Charlie and I had even more holiday fun. We met Jesse for lunch up at 53rd and Lex for the Holiday Station train exhibit. They had coal trains, circus trains, passenger trains—and the villages were so adorable. One had a working drive-in theater; another had kids swinging in the yard. Charlie would’ve stayed all day, I think. After lunch and his nap (during which I shopped for a frock for my office party tomorrow), we made our way to Santaland on Macy’s 8th floor.

I have always wanted to see Santaland, having heard so much about it. We took the express elevator and landed in a realm of trains, toys, and elves. There were dancing bears, candy canes taller than me, rocking horses, and Christmas trees. After you wait in line (rainy Thursday afternoons seem to be less crowded) the elves usher you into a room with Santa. (Don’t tell Charlie, but I think there are several of these rooms and several Santas.) Everyone is very jolly and good-natured as they try to get the kid’s picture. I, of course, bought the picture for way too much money. Then Charlie and I spent a half hour playing with giant giraffes, Santas-in-the-box, big rocking horses you could actually ride on, and hula hoops. We would have seen the puppet show, but I ran out of cash.

Ah, the holidays! I love ’em. I love the music, the lights, the parties, the happy faces, the smell of pine and pie, the bright red bows and thinking about everyone on my Christmas list. As my folks will tell you, I’m not really into expensive gifts or lots of gifts or even store-bought gifts. I could totally do Christmas without them, giving and receiving delicious food or hand-made crafts, and still have a massively good time. So, I was particularly pleased at what Charlie told Santa….

When Charlie, Jesse, and I talk about Christmas-time, and what we’re going to do to celebrate that week of Winter Solstice, we talk about our road trip down to Georgia, the Christmas merry-go-round in Valley, going to the swimming pool at the rec center, seeing the “mouse movie” (Tale of Despereaux) and doing all of these things with Kathryn and Ethan.

When Santa asked Charlie what he wanted for Christmas, Charlie said, “Kathryn.”

All he wants is to play with his cousins for Christmas.

Now that’s my kind of celebration.

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2 Responses to “Holiday Fun”

  1. Dorah Says:

    I just got your Christmas card, and blew an hour or so of good work time reading your blog. It was time well spent! I really enjoyed catching up on what you all have been doing…except next time you go to Shenendoah, I want to be invited!!

    We might just take you up on your hospitality again. Izaak has been talking about going to see the “Statue D-liberry” since he could talk and was supremely jealous that I was in its town last summer. He has already requested a trip there for his 5th birthday in July, and when your card came, and I told him who you were, he pointed to your number and said, “Call them right now and tell them we will come stay with them for my birthday.” That boy does not know how to let things go!!

    • Cevillia Says:

      Thanks, Dorah! We really enjoyed reading your Christmas letter. You and Izaak should both come for a visit. Charlie would love it. (July is my birthday, too, by the way.)

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