Thursday, December 27, 2007

Very New Beginnings - Christmas

This is my first attempt to begin an online record of our family's adventures. Every year I set a goal to maintain a better family history and every year I fail miserably. I am also a rotten communicator with friends and family members. I hope this will kill several birds with one stone. I will try to label posting with specific headings so that those who want to only follow family events can do so but those who want to know more professional details or engage in religious/cultural debates with DH and I can do so also.

We just had a wonderful few days of Christmas celebrations! I actually had 3 whole days off from performing The Turn of the Screw.
And I feel rejuvenated! Christmas Eve Day we rounded up the brood and dressed them up like Pillsbury's dough kids with many layers and snow suits and drove downtown to look at the Macy's windows in browse the Kriskindelmart. This has been a family tradition of ours since moving to Chicago 12 years ago. The food is amazing - bratwursts and plates of fried potatoes, sour cream and applesauce stuffed scones, hot chocolate. We always buy an over-priced German ornament or two for the tree. This year there was also a traveling puppet-theatre-bike with two dancing tigers that enchanted the kids. Some years we talk to Santa and there is a huge tree, a model train, a large Nativity display and lots of cultural crafts booths where I covet many items but never purchase anything because it seems like such an impulse buy. We also walked around Millenium Park and saw the mirrored "Bean" sculpture. Of course, when questioned, the kids all unanimously answered that their favorite thing was chasing the pigeons - oh, and the freezing Port-a-potties.

The we proceeded to Libertyville Manor, our closest Old Age Home, and acted out a very informal live Nativity for the lovely lonely people there. The infamous Lorraine Branham, our congregation's Activities Committee leader, organizes this event each year and plays the piano, casts the parts, prints a quick program, begs little gifts for the elderly... Bonuts was eager to be an angel, Sunshine didn't want to perform and Babe spent the whole time in his sisters' Christmas gift-wrapped box from their dance recital. He spent most the time on the ground with legs wiggling like a bug on its back - rug burns on his cheeks from his numerous falls. Very distracting for the short attention span of the patrons semi-attempting to focus on the Nativity story. Sometimes he would accept a pair of donkey ears.

The evening's highlight was the appearance of Santa! DH received the amazing Santa suit, as the oldest son in his family, when his Father passed away. It was sewn by his Grandmother for his Father many years ago. As DH was growing up, most Christmas Eves his Father would dress up and visit the people in the nearest Old Age home and the VA hospital where he worked with the family in tow, handing out candy canes. It is beautiful thick corduroy and fake fur complete with wig and beard. DH loves carrying on this event with our kids and church family. Sunshine recognised her father but was wise enough not to give the secret away.

True to form, on her way out, Bonuts tried to pull a walker out of the hands of its feeble owner - thinking it was some kind or tug-a-war toy. She did it numerous times. Luckily, people were there to quickly grab the poor old lady so she didn't fall over and I grabbed Bonuts and gave her a good public lecture. She just thought she was hilarious and so did most of her adoring public, which doesn't help the teaching moment...

More later if this works...