This year has been the most fun I can remember -- not traveling anywhere has really given us time to enjoy "a few of my favorite things" -- having a "real" tree for the first time since I was a kid (which was a long, long time ago), tracking down peppermint ice cream, decorating with Daddy Mac's huge collection of nutcrackers that have been in the attic for the last six years, and making cranberry Christmas cookies.
If I had to pick one favorite activity, it was hands-down seeing the play "Santa's Polar Bear Express" with our best buddies Dawn and Nathan at the Swift Creek Mill Theatre. I had never been there before, but it was worth the drive down 95S to Colonial Heights and then some! I really wanted to see it again (with or without Sam!), but we never made it there due to the rampant epidemic affecting our nation, CCF -- the Christmas Craziness Factor. The show was a solid 45-50 minutes long, and not one small child cried, melted down or in any way misbehaved. Now THAT is a ringing endorsement of some good child-friendly entertainment! Plus it held my attention, too, which is no easy feat.
The light-hearted plot is about Santa stuck in the chimney in the North Pole because his tummy is too big and the ensuing mad-capped capers of his friends to get him out in time for Christmas. The story and singing were so wholesome and sweet with some really memorable characters -- Cowboy Jim, Drifty the Snowman, an elf and a polar bear, not to mention Santa and Mrs. Claus. It was definitely geared to small kids, but there was lots of adult humor mixed in which often had me guffawing all by myself. Good thing Sam isn't old enough to be embarrassed by his mommy yet.
Sam now has his emergency plan if Santa gets stuck in the chimney tonight -- he says he is going to hear Santa calling for him. Then he is going to go downstairs and take off Santa's boots and pull him on down. And if that doesn't work, I say we use Drifty the Snowman's idea to CHEER Santa UP the chimney by belting out a rollicking "Jingle Bells." Hey, it worked for Drifty, but maybe only because she had those two special branches she ordered from LL Bean. Sounds like I have another last-minute item to order. Oops -- make that two. Drifty says she needs two because two is what she needs. Who knew that a snowman is actually an overgrown preschooler?
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! May your chimney be wide enough to accommodate Santa and all his girth...