1. So be good for goodness sake…
Today is St. Nicolas Day, and that can only mean one thing: Schmutzli! For those of you who have forgotten, Schmutzli travels with St. Nicolas (the Swiss call him Samichlaus) as a sort of grimy, unpredictably violent sidekick.
(I found the following quote on Swissinfo.ch: “Schmutzli brings a touch of fear, which makes the whole thing more attractive. He provides a contrast with the figure of St Nicholas.” A touch of fear! Why, what wouldn’t be more attractive that way?)
I know that many parents are fond of The Elf on the Shelf, but in my opinion Schmutzli is far, far superior–if you really want your children to behave this holiday season, remind them how long and airless the journey back to the Black Forest will seem in Schmutzli’s sack, and how rough the stick naughty children are beaten with will feel upon their tender skin. And, of course, at the end of it all, they’ll almost certainly be eaten.
This year I couldn’t find my knitted Schmutzli finger puppet, so I made my own while dinner was cooking. For this holiday craft (suitable for all ages!) you will need paper, a Sharpie, crayons, scissors, and a toothpick for Schmutzli’s child-beating stick:
As I say every year: May Schmutzli Spare You!
2. The rise of online journaling must be have been really nice for mimes.
I put up our tree today, and tomorrow I will string the lights and Simone and I will decorate and listen to Christmas music. It is a false tree, because of Simone’s asthma, and the best part about it is that the white cotton gloves it comes with to protect one’s hands while separating the branches give me an annual excuse to spend an hour or so pretending to be a mime.
I think I would have been a truly excellent mime.
3. Christmas, 1979
I found this today while I was going through a box and thought you might like to see a seasonally appropriate Baby Alexa:
(I look so alarmed! Perhaps Schmutzli is coming for me?)
I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t post today. Twyla slept for an unheard of six consecutive hours last night, and somehow getting more sleep seems to have exponentially increased my exhaustion. I remember this happening when Simone was a baby, and I still don’t understand the logic behind it, except that obviously my body is ungrateful and easily spoiled. Exhausted or not, I am typing at least a handful of words and pressing publish, reminding myself that the whole idea was to combat perfectionism, so really, the worse the better.