Some years I practically hibernate over Christmas, avoiding the malls, the busy streets, the crowded activities and prefer to stay at home happily crafting my own Christmas, trying to lure in my older children with promises of Christmas baking.... But this year has felt like a time of getting the most out of what is out there. Dean and Rhiannon took in the downtown Christmas light up at the end of November. And this weekend was action packed. It started on Thursday when Penny treated Rhiannon and I to a Christmas play at the Alliance Church. It was so very well done - the acting was excellent and of course, the story had a very uplifting message.
Friday found Rhiannon performing with not only the Carriage House Orchestra but also with the Debut Orchestra and the Suzuki group. This year she has moved up to the Carriage House Orchestra which has been an exciting challenge for her. This Christmas they learned 3 pieces from the Messiah which were beautiful and of course included the Hallelujah Chorus and For Unto Us a Child is Born. Even listening to them practise was wonderful. One week I had to help point (help the less experienced players like Rhiannon follow along in the music as they are learning it) and I was lousy at it but to be sitting in the middle of the violins during those pieces was so incredible.
Here she is waiting to go on. I couldn't convince her to tuck in her shirt....
And here is a recording from my seat at the back of the church. You can't see her because she is in the back of the second violin section behind some tall boys but you can hear the effect.
And here she is with the Debut Orchestra. You can't tell its her that she is the one on the far left closest to the front.
Then Saturday I put on a Christmas Party for my dance classes here at the house. Eryn came to help. 10 of my 12 dancers were there and an extra kid besides. We had snacks, visited the animals and watched my copy of the Nutcracker danced by Baryshnikov - well part of it until they started to get too restless. And then we decorated some Christmas cookies and played a rousing game of "Upset the Fruitbasket" which was so fun. While still riding the wave of energy, I suggested after the last one had cleared out that we go do some Christmas shopping. After about 15 minutes in the mall, my exhaustion hit but now I was committed so I dragged myself about for awhile longer, trying to be supportive of Erin.
Sunday we picked up a friend of Rhiannon's and headed out to O'Keefe Ranch to see their Victorian Christmas. We were there right when it opened at 2pm. If I ever go again, I will go later so you can see the lights. We listened to carols, roasted marshmallows, drank hot chocolate and went for 2 hay rides. And Rhiannon and her friend soaked Dean in snow balls.
On our way home we picked up our Christmas tree. Eryn and Tyler came over and we made homemade pizza, decorated the tree and then decorated a slough of sugar cookies. Most of Tylers have happy faces on them which he did mostly to bug Eryn.
Rhiannon and I have a goal to watch a Christmas movie every day. We're not doing so well but we have watched "Its a Wonderful Life" with a young and handsome Jimmy Stewart. Rhiannon had never seen it. I have several more ready to go. Any recommendations for good Christmas movies?
10 hours ago