It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I’ve been listening to way too much Christmas music. Over the very long weekend that comes with Thanksgiving, our family really starts to get in the Christmas spirit. V started decorating her room right after we ate on Thanksgiving. That was a little early for me, so I did all my decorating the day after.
It took me a while to find a new and interesting place for each of my eighteen nutcrackers, my mini glass nativity scene, and all the various shiny things I put out each year. Then, once V and I got our rooms in order, V went down to the basement, and got the tree. My sister and I have a fake, silver tree that we call our ‘Charlie Brown’ tree. Every year we put it up together, and decorate it with all our own ornaments. We used to put it in the basement, in the home school room, but now that we’re in college, it’s Dad’s home office. So we had to find somewhere else to put our tree. We ended up putting in my room, which I have been really enjoying.
We already have a few presents under it (we have wrapped six more since this picture), and one of them is for me. So far, I have resisted the temptation to shake it, smell it, and taste it, and really have no clue what it could be, but Santa sure likes skiing on it. Snow maybe?
I went ice skating at the St. Regis on Friday. It was wonderful. It was just my immediate family, and only Dad and I actually ice skated. The ice skating rink was fantastic. It was under a huge, billowy white tent, all strung with lights, and there was a little stand (well I say stand, but it was more like a very condensed italian restaurant) where you could buy the most amazing, rich, hot chocolate and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.
Mom and V walked around in the lobby drinking hot chocolate for the most part. Even so, it wasn’t a bad way to spend the afternoon. The St. Regis has gone all out for Christmas. It’s almost beyond words. Not only do they have an outdoor ice skating rink, but in the lobby, they have built an elaborate ginger bread house (they call it the ‘Gingerbear house’). It’s so large, that my six foot four father, can easily walk around in it. It’s built around a lobby fireplace, and even has some furniture in it. But what really gets me, is the details. They have covered an entire working clock in gingerbread, hung a family portrait of the three bears, completely made out of Jelly Beans on the wall, and the St. Regis crest, made out of M&M’s hangs above the door. Inside the fence that surrounds the house, there’s a gingerbread dog house, the size of a real, regulation dog house, with a little dog outside it’s opening. It makes the whole lobby smell like Christmas.
But Dad and I were actually ice skating. It was the first time I had skated on an outdoor rink, and it took a while to get used to. The ice was a strange consistency, chopped up and slushy. But pretty soon, I got used to it, and really started to enjoy myself. The main obstacles after that, were the children. We could just be skating along, and a little kid would trip, and just sprawl out in your path, with a ‘thud!’ that can scare you like nothing else. I can skate fairly fast, but I can’t come to a complete stop without running into a wall. So the best I can do when that happens, is to whip around, slowing me down, and getting me out of their way. Once I’ve stopped, I can turn back to them to say, “Are you alright honey?”. And yes, I know how southern that sounds, but I could have added a ‘bless your heart’. They’ll usually look a little shaken, and embarrassed, but kids are surprisingly resilient.
The ice skating didn’t stop there. On Saturday, my ice skating class had it’s party. I brought some friends (and my Dad, because that’s what I do). As you may know, my class shares the rink with the little kid class, so they were all at the party. The rink had a penguin (or some guy in a penguin suit, however you like to look at it) come out to entertain the kids. His name was Chilly, and he was adorable and fuzzy. They just loved him. They would follow him around, and hug him, and he would cheer up the little kids that fell. Incidentally, I am not too old for penguins. I had to skate up to him and hug him. It was possible I hugged him twice. After a little while Chilly had his friend come out. Her name was Lucy Leftover. She was a turkey. Apparently, she was his best friend. She didn’t bring any skates, so she just walked around slowly. But she didn’t stay very long.
It’s been a good November, aside from all the procrastination, but tomorrow is December. December! Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! Yay! Sorry. It’s possible I’ve had a lot of sugar.