Friday, January 16, 2015

Robot Christine and Christmas

Well, Christmas came and went and it's now mid-January and I haven't recorded a thing on my blog since October.  Yikes.  My favorite part about having a blog is that it's my bizarre record of what actually goes on here all day.  And now that I skipped November and December, the 85-yr old robot version of myself might look back at this and wonder, "Did I miss Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's?"  No, Robot Christine, you didn't miss it.  You just forgot to catalogue and save it in cyberspace  indefinitely.

So Robot Christine, this is for you so that you may look back on the 2014's Holiday Season with your glass eyes and electronic heart and vaguely recall the following memories.

Thanksgiving was a small affair with a stuffed turkey breast and braised short ribs.  HT ate everything.  Bean really only went for the dessert, and maybe some cheese.  I'll be honest, Robot Christine, this seems long ago.  I don't really remember much else.

Ahh, the holiday season.  Here's what I know.  HT wanted nothing to do with the man in the big red suit.  In fact, she screamed and refused a picture.  I wish we had evidence of this, but we don't.  HT liked Santa in the abstract, pointing and saying Santa whenever she saw a picture of him.  She was particularly fond of his hat.  Bean loved Santa and wrote her own letter to Santa.  She told me what she wanted it to say, and I was prepared to e-mail Santa (because, come on people it's 2014!) and instead, she diligently asked how to spell each word and wrote it herself.  Did I cry immediately when she handed the copy over to me?  Yes.  She asked only for a train and ABC blocks for her sister and of course, we obliged with a bounty of other presents too.

We kicked off the month of December with a trip to Mohonk Mountain House to celebrate J's birthday.  Mohonk Mountain House is a 150-year-old hotel in New Paltz, NY.  It's about an hour away and the setting was gorgeous.  Bean was beyond ecstatic to be in a hotel.  I think if that's all there was, she'd have a great time.  In fact, Bean wanted to stay in the hotel room most of the time even though there wasn't much there.  Instead, I forced the family to do holiday activities including decorating Christmas cookies, watching the Victorian Christmas Carolers, ice skating and walking in the freezing cold outside.  Ice Skating was tricky.  Bean thought that since she frequently plays the Ice Queen Elsa at home that she'd immediately know how to ice skate.  She didn't.  She ended up being very frustrated on the ice but we persevered.  I hadn't skated in 20? years and I was just happy that I stayed up holding her hands.  J kindly suggested that I skate backwards and hold Bean's hands to steady her.  Like I know how to skate backwards!  Mind you, he wasn't the one skating.  He might as well have suggested that I grow rocket blasters from my back and blast off into space and bring him a moon rock.  Ultimately, I think we all had fun until J lit the fire in our room before bed and the room filled with smoke setting off the silent fire alarm and necessitating a visit from security.  We opened the balcony doors and sat around in our pajamas talking to security for 20 minutes while our room cleared out the smoke.  Did I mention it was freezing outside?  I then spent the next four hours with the doors open praying that death wouldn't take us during the night from hypothermia or carbon monoxide poisoning.

The best of the weekend was not the imminent fear of death from carbon monoxide poisoning (shocker, I know) was that HT kept saying "more tree" over and over again.  She was obsessed with the hotel's numerous Christmas trees and couldn't get enough of them.  This also continued at home when we finally got our own Christmas tree.  Every morning when we came downstairs, she'd say "hi tree."  And every night before she went to bed, She'd say "bye tree!"  Sadly, it's been two weeks since I took the tree down and she still wanders into the living room occasionally to ask me about it.

Christmas was everything it was supposed to be.  It was magical and delightful for the kids who tore into every present with unabashed glee.  At one point, HT just started opening everything in sight and J ended up missing a few of his presents.  It didn't matter though.  There was so much joy that morning.

In closing Robot Christine, if you are reading this 50 years into the future with your glass eyes and rocket blasters, just know that Christmas 2014 was a beautiful experience.  There was a palpable feeling of love that permeated every Christmas card, song and present.  The whole day was gift to be remembered treasured for years to come.