Two years ago the Grinch stole Christmas. Actually it was the twin pregnancy. I could not abide the smell of ANY cooking food in the house, so nix half the fun of the holidays. Just one whiff of sugary foods made me want to barf, so I didn’t eat any of my favorite holiday treats. And since the boys were already pushing me toward bedrest, I essentially postponed Christmas till the next year. Oh yeah, and Kent and I totally failed at getting each other presents which meant I just had to return everything. Dreary.
So last year the pendulum swung all the way in the other direction. We went on a star-spangled Rudolph of Frosty Christmas blitz-o-rama. We hit every marshmallow pit and tacky Christmas light spectacular on the map. We visited five Santas in five different malls. How could this possibly end well? Shouldn’t I have spent all that time wrangling the babies while serving at a soup kitchen? Yes, probably. The really sad thing is that out of respect for my baby twins, no one asked me to sing a single note the whole season. It was the first time that has ever happened to me. I sat in the audience for everything feeling dead inside.
So this year instead of swinging back all the way toward a totally unplugged Christmas, I decided to make some decisions at the outset about what was worth doing. I put the list in a document titled Christmas Season 2012. Here’s what we have so far:
- Chanticleer Concert, November 24 (Gorgeous! One of the countertenors commended us on taking “a moment of stillness at this busy time to reflect upon the mystery of a child born in the night and the hope that birth brings.”
- Alto soloist for Messiah performances Dec 2 and 9
- Tacky Christmas sweater party, Dec 7
- Meadowlark Gardens Walk of Lights Dec 6 (Instead of spec-tacky-ular, it was lovely and charming. We bought a wonderful smore’s kits at the fire pit. They limit entry for each hour of time so it is never overcrowded. So much nicer than the totally packed and Vegas-y National Zoo Lights)
- Bull Run carnival and light show, Dec 14th or 15th
- Drive around to see Christmas lights
- Tree lighting at Mosaic District (lame. double lame. Redeemed only by being there with the Lunsfords.)
- Santa at Merrifield Garden Center Dec 9th
- Temple lights Dec 21st
- Botanic Gardens train exhibit and carousel at National Mall Dec 10 (The trains are a clear Must-See for anyone with young kids, and an ought-to-see for everyone else)
- Nutcracker, Washington Ballet, November 30th
- Gingerbread house at Ritz Carlton
- mulled Cranberry Orange punch (done)
- gingerbread cookies or houses (cookies done and decorated)
- pumpkin ravioli
- candy cane cake and Christmas casserole
- oatmeal cherry cookies
- pumpkin cookies (done. Thanks for the recipe, Bethany!)
- pumpkin pie (done–from scratch, too)
- dinner in a pumpkin (done as casserole)
- pumpkin caramel bread pudding (done)
- peppermint bark (done)
- Georgetown cupcake various seasonal flavors
- Pumpkin cheesecake
- Sugar cookies (done, if you count the grocery store kind)
One of the many, many unique and colorful fairy houses around the various trains. The models of the DC landmarks are usually the same, but the huge room of model trains always has new landscaping and scenes. The fairy houses this year thrilled the Fluffy one.
I forget which building this was supposed to be. Let’s see, neoclassical architecture, ornate facades, um, yeah. It could be anything in D.C..
Despite it being drizzly and foggy, we took the Fluff to the carousel on the National Mall. With all her Space Mountain experience and her Disney’s Brave panties on, Fluffy was brave enough to ride the carousel by herself for the first time. She chose the biggest, scariest dragon as her first mount and named him “Killadon”. The second ride, she picked a blue snowflake-covered horse whom she named “Laker”. When I went to get her down she said, “This one in front is so charming I named her Charmer. And this one is Vanilla.”