Last year marked our first attempt at a gingerbread house and the only surprise to come from it is that no one showed up from the Housing Authority to condemn it. It was lopsided, partially frosted, and inadequate for even the least discerning gingerbread man.
This year proved much more successful....another year older and another year wiser. There were icicles, an actual door, and a solid foundation that might help its resale value even in this tough market. Thankfully, the life of gingerbread people (at least in my house) sees an unfortunately high turnover rate. Them being good to eat and all.
SO here it is in all its glory....and it's glory may have something to do with the fact that a certain wildly artistic friend happened to drop by at the exact moment we were planning our exterior decorations.
The fact that I LOVE this song used to be a secret. It's one of those songs that always comes on that soft rock radio station your parents always listened to, the one you always complained about. I can still vividly remember sitting squished between my brothers in the backseat, trying not to get car sick from the long ride, the limited room, or the sound of Gloria Estefan crooning, "Here we are.....once again....". I'm surprised my eyes never rolled right out of my head.
But off the record, this song is a standard for those stations during the holidays, and I wait for it and all its corny sentimentality.
Feel free to make fun of me at length...I refuse to offer up any apologies.
While driving home from an awesome day at the mall (I'm not kidding....there must be a full moon, but we had a blast and we were meltdown free....no blarma, no blarma, no blarma), I was stopped at a light behind a Back to the Future van that did not contain Lybian terrorists but did contain an overabundance of bumper stickers.
The most absurd??
"Unless you're a hemorrhoid, Stay Off My Ass!"
Umm....what? So, if I were a hemorrhoid, you'd welcome me with open cheeks?
Sorry, I guess that was gross, but clearly not as gross as the complete idiocy of the sticker.
I love this song (and the entire Harry Connick Jr. Christmas album for that matter), and when I listen to it I fantasize about actually having some real New Year's Eve plans that involve a lavish party with fancy, sparkly dresses that you can only get away with on New Years or a Wednesday in Vegas.
This year, John and I are hoping to make it to eleven.
Anyway, there is no available video featuring Harry's rendition, so we'll have to settle for good ol' Johnny Mathis on this one.....
As promised, we headed to the Deptford Mall on Friday with lots of snacks, distractions, and the always obliging Grammy. Believing that my daughter would run away at the last minute and my little guy would erupt into a torrent of tears as soon as he laid eyes on the jolly fellow, I strategized for the entire ride and even did a little reconnaissance as we circled the point of pictures.
Since we arrived a little early, we all headed over to a kids store for holiday outfits. On our way, however, the Claus himself happened to saunter by on his way to his velour thrown and my daughter, like a groupie with a backstage pass, turned wide eyed and hypnotized as she took in all of his splendor. This was more than amusing for some of the vendors, especially since she walked right into Foot Locker and almost toppled into a sneaker display in all her consternation.
By the time we joined the line a few minutes and one poopy diaper later, we were surrounded by crying children who were simultaneously being bribed and groomed by their already ruffled parents.
I decided the element of surprise would have to be our approach for the little guy (Grammy's job...she pointed out everything around us without every letting him see big SC). As for my little miss, the once excited gift recipient was expressing some doubts about the whole lap and talking thing and so I was forced to offer my appeals. They included:
1) If you don't tell him, how will he know you want a table top ski ball machine?
2) I heard a rumor he's giving out candy canes to all the kids who do a good job.
3) I think I may have a ring pop in my purse.
4) You did it last year.
5) Joseph can't talk, and so as the big sister you must tell Santa WHAT YOU THINK HE SHOULD HAVE on his behalf.
Ho Ho Ho.
She got on his lap like a champ, but refused to look at him or acknowledge him, and I'm pretty sure she was relying on some pretty tricky visualization techniques to pretend she was somewhere else.
As for the little guy, Grammy started swinging and swirling him around and he giggled in reciprocation. Then, she grandly swept him up and plopped him down on Santa's lap, thinking we'd get a picture in before he even knew what the heck just happened.
He looked at us. He looked at Santa. And then he looked back at us with a smile, as if to say, "Who the hell is this guy?"