Monday, December 27, 2010
It starts with the questions.
Mom, can you buy me some red pants?
Mom, where is my black belt?
I don't know. Check your room.
Mom, can you buy me a santa hat?
This happened last year. For some reason I forgot that Joey likes to dress up as Santa. So the questions caught me off guard.
It is a struggle between him and I until I finally get on board with the whole thing. He is quite a persistent little bugger.
Slowly I come around. Joey is very happy when I finally get on board.
He wants to hand out wrapped presents to his sisters. So he goes around the house and finds toys and wants wrapping paper. Then he needs tape. Then he realizes that you don't rip wrapping paper, you use scissors. It is a long slow process.
Finally, he is ready. Joey, I mean Santa, hands out gifts to his sisters.
Next year he wants a real Santa outfit. I think this whole process will start all over.
Welcome to Christmas at my house!
For some things, it doesn't matter what country we are in.
On December 24th we went to the market in the morning. It was very festive, lively and fun. More lines for oysters. I was given a sample for smoked salmon. It was good so I had to buy some.
We spent the afternoon in the kitchen cooking. We played Christmas music all day.
Since we had a lot of cooking to do we let the kids open their Fracassi cousin gifts in the afternoon. The Fracassi cousin draw names each Christmas. There is a slight chance that they opened these gifts because I knew that cousin Sydney had sent Ellie a big box of craft supplies.
Ellie went first with her present. She was so happy to have a present to unwrap. Finally, Christmas was here. She took the wrapping paper off the box and saw a picture of boots. She started crying. She didn't want boots for Christmas.
Here she is several minutes later after we convinced her to open the present.
Around 7pm, before we had dinner, we decided to deliver some gifts to two of our neighbors. Our neighbors usually eat late so we didn't think anyone would be eating at 7pm. They don't usually eat until at least 8pm.
First, we went next door to Zoe's family. (Ellie and Zoe are in the same class at school) The parents were dressed up, a large table was set nicely, and a raw turkey was sitting on the counter in a pan. At 7pm, their guests had not arrived yet and the turkey had not gone in the oven! It was going to be a late night at their house. Zoe's mom, Giselle, looked worried that we expected to be invited in. This poor woman, who is so nice to me and so patient with me when I am speaking French, did not need me barging in on her Christmas Eve. I told her that we were dropping off gifts and we quickly left.
The next house we went to was Zack's family. Joey and Zack play together a lot. They had given us a box of chocolate and we wanted to give them something in return. They answered the door in a much more casual way. Casual clothes, no table set and no food on the table. They looked like they were hanging out. They invited us in for a drink but we had our own dinner to get back to. They were a little surprised that we didn't want to sit and have a drink.
We walked back home and admired the one house in our village that has outdoor Christmas lights.
After dinner we gave the kids a book that Rod's parents had recorded for them. The kids listened to Grandma and Papa Fracassi read them 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.
And then, with a blink of an eye, it was Christmas morning.
Santa had found us. There were presents under the tree.
Even boots. Fortunately they were for a child that really wanted boots - Katie.
Rod had brought with him a hockey bag full of presents from grandparents and aunts and uncles. So we spread out the gift opening.
And of course extracting presents from their plastic can take up a good part of the day. Those barbies are not going to move one inch inside their plastic case!
Family that we missed was in our heart and on our minds all day.