Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Parades and Celebrations

Caleb is sitting with me in Nick’s office playing with M&M’s (Smarties), making pictures with the different colours and so on. Aaron is sleeping. Nick has gone out to climb Jacob’s Ladder and then swim. And here I am, having just finished putting chords onto songs for tomorrow night’s guitar playing in the carols. Today has been a quietish day, I’ve mostly been at home pottering, and being with the boys. I did pop out to the shops to buy some red lining because I want to make capes for the boys. They love playing super-heroes with their dressing gowns, so I’m going to try put together something simple which hopefully (or not) they will live in. Those will be part of their Christmas presents. Tonight I must wrap the remainder of their presents and put them by the fireplace. We’ve done a “Christmas Countdown” thing on the fridge, which starts today and has nine sleeps until Christmas Eve. Every day they can put a sticker in a block so they can see how many sleeps are left.

Today there was a little Christmas parade through the streets in town. I didn’t know it was scheduled to happen, but when a police van drove slowly past our house with sirens blaring, I thought there must be something going on. So I watched for a bit out my craft room window, then saw it starting, rushed into the boys’ room where they were playing, and we opened their bedroom window that looks onto the street and so the three of us hung out the window like real commoners, waving to the passing people. It was so exciting – the schools had put it together, so there were school kids marching in Santa hats, and then three or four or more bakkies decorated in tinsel with kids on the back. Some of the kids we knew and waved to. It was cool! Yesterday was toddler group’s last meeting of the year, and they had a Christmas party. What an amount of food! Well, while they were all eating, the Fire Engine drove past the schoolroom up the road with sirens going, then came down again slowly, in order to drop off Father Christmas. It’s funny how they manage to really involve the police and fire services in these Christmas celebrations! Everyone joins in and it’s truly exciting for the kids. Well Father Christmas had a bag full of presents, something for each and every child who had attended during the year. Every week we pay 50p per kid, so that must have gone towards it. The boys waited and waited until eventually their presents were taken out the bag, but when they were most disappointed that I said they must wait until Christmas to open them!

Last night we had Vincent and Vilma over to dinner. It was a good evening. We mentioned to Vincent, who is the person to tell if anything goes wrong (eg the washing machine) that the gas cooker isn’t working properly – one of the plates puffs itself out but the gas stays on – so between himself and Vilma (who is the treasurer) they decided that we should just buy a new cooker. I have to go around pricing them, I saw a price today of £199 for a four-plate gas. We could get electric, but actually I rather like the idea of the gas. Electric is about £300 for something simple.

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