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Jingle Hop

December 6, 2009

This holiday season is already kicking my ass. I just can’t keep up. At least I’ve finally started my Christmas shopping, though. And I’ve received two early Christmas presents. One is a new camera, which I expect you’ll reap the benefits of (I am throwing caution to the wind and leaving you with a dangling preposition because I am crazy like that) eventually, when I can stop spending so much time fiddling with the camera and start actually looking at the pictures I’m taking. This afternoon, we went to watch AJ march in our town’s annual Christmas parade and I got a lot of very blurry shots of AJ’s midsection, as if his torso was passing by at top speed. If I blow them up really large, perhaps it would come off as some kind of deep and thoughtful work of abstract art. But at regular size, well, I might as well have taken a picture of the inside of the lens cap.

The parade is always one of my favorite events of the season, and it was fun. But it was noticeably more subdued this year, due, no doubt, to the current economic situation. There were many fewer floats and fewer handouts, although still plenty of candy. But it’s still a perfect small town event. The football and volleyball teams, both of whom won state championships last week, road on the backs of the snow plows. The local beauty queens waved from the back of convertibles. Brownie scouts dressed as Santas and presents and snowmen waved and tossed candy. AJ’s friend O’s little brother Q, who was marching for the first time with his Tiger Cub Scout den, ran up to me and handed me my very own lollipop. A politician of some sort or another careened around the parade route in a souped up golf cart, narrowly missing several children who’d run into the street to pick up candy.

Usually a visit to the Christmas Parade ends with a visit to Santa, who sets up shop in a sleigh in the local travel agent’s, across from train station. But this year, AJ said he didn’t want to go. It made me sad, although I know that part of this has to do with the fact that the last couple of Santas at this particular location have been a little creepy and also that AJ will see Santa next weekend at our neighborhood party and again on Christmas Eve at our family party. On both of those occasions, Santa will bring presents, so this one is just no big deal. But it made me remember the year AJ decided that the thing he wanted most in the world was a Bug Vacuum and he sat on Santa’s lap any time he could to tell him so. And I also remember the time we went to the parade when he was two. He was too small to walk the whole parade, but the lineup is a couple of blocks from our house, so we walked over to watch them before they started. After the parade began, we walked back home alongside the floats that hadn’t left yet. At the back of the line was Santa in his enormous sleigh, surrounded by high school pom-pom girls, who were serving as elves. Santa called out to AJ as we walked by and asked him if he’d been good. He stopped in his tracks and nodded, big-eyed. Then Santa had one of his elves run across the street and bring AJ a candy cane, which he clutched in his fist all the way home. I don’t have a picture of that Christmas Parade either. But I remember it anyway, so perhaps it does not matter.

Less of a failure than the photography was the first batch of Christmas cookies of the season. I decided to start with one of Siren‘s recipes from here NaCoBakMo project. This one, to be exact. It was a perfect day to try it out because AJ had a friend over, a boy who was on his baseball team, but whom he hasn’t seen since the summer until he ran into him at the parade today. The two of them went to town on the candy canes with a rolling pin (there being a distinct absence of mallets of any kind in our house). They did an excellent job, although sadly, as one of them didn’t like chocolate and the other didn’t like peppermint, they weren’t so fond of the actually cookies. That’s okay. More for the grownups, who thought they were delicious.

And now here we are, dinner time on Sunday, and I’m scrambling to get music ready for the lessons I’m teaching tomorrow at School of Rock. I didn’t have enough time between hiring and starting to get any music I ordered, so I’m winging the first day. in My first lesson is the guy who hired me (no pressure). He’s a guitarist who’s taught himself a bunch of instruments, but has been struggling with fiddle. For him, I’ll be listening to what he’s done so far, but I’ll probably also bring in a couple of transcriptions of Irish songs to work on. But I still need to pick which ones. The second student’s a 7-year-old beginner. I’m bringing him ‘Twinkle, Twinkle LIttle Star” and a simple version of “Jingle Bells.” But mostly, since it’s only a half an hour lesson and he doesn’t yet have an instrument, I’ll probably be fitting him with a rental instrument and showing him how to hold it and take care of it. I need to get this stuff prepped tonight because tomorrow I need to practice and do some shopping for a couple of parties coming up this weekend. And then there’s the small matter of the writing part of my work. And Christmas cards to mail.

No, I’m not panicking. Yet.

And how was your weekend?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. iwom permalink
    December 6, 2009 11:27 pm

    Drank too many things out of coconuts which contained far too much rum…but whatcha gonna do when you’re here on Maui? It’s helping me be a little less worried about PeppyPilotGirl though, so best keep it up for a few more days. I get to meet Matthew in less than a week!

  2. lemming permalink
    December 7, 2009 9:34 am

    iwom’s weekend sounds very nice, actually.

    Last night I realized how little time I have left to do said shopping and then make it to the Post Office. Have to be extra creative about gifts this year, which is always a strain. Rather wish that the end of the semester didn’t coincide with the holiday.

  3. The Lass permalink
    December 7, 2009 10:28 am

    My weekend flew past in a flurry of Christmas shopping, fretting, socializing and horrid stomach problems. Thanks for asking.

  4. freshhell permalink
    December 7, 2009 11:06 am

    Birthday party madness.

  5. December 7, 2009 3:23 pm

    Sinus infection doldrums.

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