Back from Christmas vacation to outer Siberia - also known as West Tennessee. Actually this year it was more like outer Sahara, as temps that are normally around Christmas in the 30's and 40's climbed into the 60's and 70's so Santa broke out the shorts and suntan oil this year.
Christmas Eve and Day at home was a typical affair, although I must confess to getting a little tired of the Santa bit - at least, the part where I'm nervous to the point of paranoia that one of the kids is going to get up early and see Santa's already been there, before I've even gone to bed. Or they'll catch me sneaking into their room to leave a present under their little trees.
BrainyBoy's perfectly aware of the realities of the situation, we're fairly certain, but he's in that "let's play it up for the benefit of little sister, and just in case part of it is still real I'm not taking any chances." But the real test is from Tink. And she surely tested us this year....
A couple days before Christmas, she confided in me that she wanted to give Santa a present. She had a tiny, tiny kitten figurine that she was willing to leave in a small ceramic box, along with a note to Santa telling him that she wanted him to have it. Sincerity was written all over her face, and we could tell she truly wanted to give something back to Santa.
What to do? I didn't want to discourage her spirit of giving, nor did I want her to give up the little kitten - which she liked, itself. So Christmas Eve, she dutifully but the figurine in the little box, set it under her tree in her room and taped up the note next to it all.
That night when they were both asleep and Laura was prepping the presents downstairs, "Santa" wrote her a note. In as flowing a script as I could muster (which is difficult since I no longer write anything in cursive except my signature) I penned a heartfelt thank you from St. Nick, a couple of excuses that the kitten might break and she belonged with her momma (another, larger cat figurine). I also mentioned that the kitten needed a lot of love, just like she used to give to Little Bit. Then Santa told her what a wonderful little girl she was, and thanked her again.
Christmas morning they were up at 6am, after they'd been given strict instructions to play in their room until 7. No such luck, so we trudged out of bed to see what Santa brought. She was very excited and proud that Santa had written her a letter, but a little confused as to why. It was something out of her realm of possibilities. She's shown it and bragged about it to all her relatives in West Tennessee this week. I'll try to scan the letter sometime and show all of you.
Who needs the Polar Express when they have me?
UPDATE: Whip me with an reindeer's antler, cause I forgot to mention we had lunch on the way back from West Tennessee with Big Orange Michael at the Rainforest Cafe in Nashville. Read his account of the underwhelming service we had at this premiere (to us) restaurant attraction.