¶ I’m late posting this holiday wrap up because I’ve been busy in the last few weeks. On Monday I started a new job, a JOB job, in an office, full time, the sort of job that requires you to wear things like pants with buttons and dresses and to wash your hair and everything. I have a lot more to say about this, unsurprisingly, but that will have to wait until tomorrow or Monday, because though I used one of my lunch breaks to write things out, the post ended up much longer and more tedious than even I had anticipated, and I have to decide what to do about that. I will say this: I kind of love work so far. For one thing, I get a lunch break! I also get to pee without a small person holding on to the front of my knees, which is extraordinarily luxurious.
¶ Christmas was a success! Twyla came down with croup Christmas Eve and a cold systematically worked its way through the family, but no one was too sick to enjoy themselves and, more importantly, *I* was not sick, meaning that the crafts were crafted and the presents wrapped and the girls were clean and festively dressed. On Christmas Eve and we made our way to my mother’s where I let Scott wrangle Twyla while I sat and drank champagne with a healthy slap of sherry in it. I cannot recommend this last enough.
¶ Craftily speaking, Simone and I made everyone snow globes. Well, waterless snow globes–we tried one with water first (water and glitter and a bit of glycerin) but the result was unwholesome-looking, so we changed course and went with glitter and craft snow and nothing else. The ratio of effort to effect was the most favorable I have ever encountered in a craft, so I feel I should share it with you. (I also feel…self conscious about how twee this craft seems, but please know that “twee” and “Pinterest-ready” were not among my Christmas craft criteria.) (Actual criteria were “easy,” “fun,” and “impressive-looking enough to count as a whole gift.”)
You will need:
-Half Pint Jelly Jars
-Styrofoam balls (we used 1.5 inch) (the balls are to raise the figures up a bit so they are more visible above the lid/through the glass)
-Strong glue/adhesive of some sort
-Assorted figures (we used several different kinds, but the very easiest were the little plastic trees you can buy in packages of twelve or so for decorating cakes.)
1. Cut styrofoam balls in half
2a. If using cake decorating trees, stick tree into half ball so that trunk/spear just shows through bottom of half ball, then glue half ball to inside of jar lid
2b. If using other figures, glue half ball to inside of jar lid and glue figure to ball
3. Let dry
4. Add craft snow and various glitters to jar as desired
5. Screw on lid, turn over to check snow level and adjust as needed
¶ Also under the general heading of “crafts,” Simone made us a gingerbread man ornament at school, and brought it home along with the recipe, should we want to make more on our own.
¶ Since Christmas, Simone has scarcely been heard from, being thoroughly absorbed in her gifts–most especially three: the Playmobil ambulance she got from us, and the Playmobil Take-Along Hospital and Christmas Carousel she got from my mother. I suggested the hospital to my mother as a present idea after Simone expressed concern over where she would take patients to be treated, should she be lucky enough to receive the ambulance for Christmas. (I suggested she take them to her Playmobil school, and she was horrified. She had a point–aside from scarring impressionable Playmobil pupils by exposing them to traumatic injuries, infection control would be an absolute nightmare.)
Luckily for the wee plastic schoolchildren, Simone got the hospital. Unluckily for them, she also received the aforementioned carousel, which seems to be something of a deathtrap.
I’d estimate upwards of 90% of the hospital’s patients are victims of carousel accidents. The classic carousel injury, as reported by Simone, is “a broken skull and two broken legs,” so these are not trifling mishaps. The carousel DOES have safety bars, but the operator is (criminally?) lax in making sure all children are secure before beginning the ride. What’s more, I’ve observed the carousel in action, and you’d almost suspect the operator was speeding it up for the express purpose of ejecting any children who’ve been careless about the restraints.
Perhaps the most shocking part of the whole sordid business is that these children often return to the carousel the moment their casts are removed. I mean, where are the parents? If my son or daughter was recently recovered from two broken legs and a broken skull, I certainly wouldn’t be allowing them back on the contraption that injured them in the first place, and frankly, I’d probably be considering legal action. (Is there a Playmobil Take-Along Courtroom? We could play “Lawsuit!”)
¶ Late though it is, I wanted to be sure to wish you all a Happy New Year. I’m very lucky to have met so many lovely people through this Website in the past almost-nine(!) years, and I hope to be around much more in the year to come. I have a good feeling about 2014. Saxby Chambliss, everyone.