So Close to Santa.

Without assistance or prompting, Ella took our dry erase calendar and moved us into December; well, as far into December as she’d like to go. I guess on Christmas Day, December ends? Or maybe we just freeze on that day indefinitely, in a constant state of Christmas. Would that be so bad? We shall see.

In the meantime, lots has happened in the past week. To start, last weekend Ella came out of her room dressed in what I thought looked like the lead in the movie Flashdance, which our children haven’t seen. And so, I asked Alexa to play the Maniac song, and this scene followed:

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I couldn’t stop laughing. So excited to share the joy, I sent this video to several friends via text. One replied with a video of her daughter dancing to the same song, and a dance off followed. It was hilarious. Our kids kept trading tunes with moves for 5 rounds! Everybody won. Here are my favorites from our end:

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That one happens to have choreography they sort of remember from the Just Dance 2021 game we recently got. My favorite favorite though was a song I thought would bring out some real fun, which it did.

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If that didn’t make you smile, your happy meter may be broken. Regardless, it’s just one of the many fun moments we get over here at the Johnson house. Last week was the final week of school before a three-week (omg-omg-omg) winter break. In a tiny bit of cleanup we did last weekend, we uncovered this:

Yep, that’s the tooth fairy. And some pigs? Who knows but come on, that’s funny. Our LEGO advent also kept on giving, creating a Santa’s workshop that gets fuller every day:

Note to self: Next year we need only one LEGO advent calendar. They are all identical; so this workshop is about to be doubly full. We also had a lot of ART last week. Zoe’s class learned some cool techniques, including backgrounds and perspectives, during which time she made this lovely piece:

She also made a little friend for our little friend.

Oh boy. Zoe put her creation up in the Christmas tree, near where the Elf on the Shelf was situated (but not too near). She casually mentioned that she hoped the elf might see the baby elf and take her along. That’s awesome unless you’re the one who has to move that freaking Elf on the Shelf. I now have to find not just a place to put an elf but also one where that elf can hold onto a baby elf… Zoe was ecstatic the first day our elf (Sparkle Heart Gem) and baby elf were together. Joy.

On the last day of school Ella’s class had a party after school, for which her amazing teacher had stocked up the kids with goodies, as I shared last week. As a warm-up, Zoe whipped this up for Ella’s breakfast dessert:

Ella loved it (and ate the whole thing). As a trade-off, Zoe got to enjoy Ella’s party with her, where they watched Frosty the Snowman and shared her treats. With buttered popcorn, hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies in hand, they had a blast together to close out a challenging first part of the school year.

So fun! Is her teacher amazing or what? Who in the world can handle 17 kindergarteners on a Zoom call, stick to a schedule, and make it fun? Not me. It was a fabulous Friday filled with excitement for their time off, which of course terrifies her parents (us), who both have work to do over the next few weeks. We’re going to do our best to balance work and life, as we do, but it should be interesting.

To start off our family time together right, we had some “celebrations” over the weekend. On Saturday morning, we did a brief socially distanced gift exchange with some close friends. With their first Christmas gifts in hand, the girls promptly jumped in and completed some fun crafts, including handmade glitter soap and a super fun birdhouse:

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Yes, she knows that’s not how to spell squirrel. I can barely stand not fixing it, but we agreed that squirrels can’t read anyway. We followed that fun up by making some treats for “ding-dong-safety-first-ditch” drop-offs after heading to Christmas Tree Lane. If you check out that link, be sure to click Audio at the bottom and listen to their Christmas tunes. They’re terrific versions of holiday favorites. Our kids love Christmas lights and count them from the car every time we drive around during the holidays. So we thought, since we can’t do most of the things we usually do that involve people, we’d find a light show somewhere.

A few things about Christmas Tree Lane:

  • This is the 100th anniversary of their lights along a pretty street in Altadena with decorated trees from Italy called Deodars.
  • Usually, this organized experience apparently offers a walking, interactive show; this year it was a long, long, long line of cars.
  • We waited in a car line for over 30 minutes just to get to the street entrance, then slowly (almost at a stop) moved along the street, watching young people hang out of cars in front of us.

Honestly, I can’t complain. The girls sang every Christmas song they know before we even got to the street. Then we listened to that great holiday music playlist. And finally, we bailed before the end, which made me happy. We dropped off some peanut butter cornflake haystacks and butter toffee bars at a few friends’ houses. I apologize in advance for giving you the haystack recipe… My sweet Granny Hall used to make them when I was a kid, so I love making them–and I’ve become almost famous in lots of groups for bringing them to potlucks. They are addictive. Good luck.

Speaking of food, Bart and I have been on the Keto diet since Nov 9. No time like the Holidays for giving up carbs. So far we’ve made fudge, cashew brittle, peanut butter haystacks, sugar cookies, butter toffee bars, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and I haven’t even tasted anything. Guess I have some will power after all. But in the next few days, watch out. We’re only human. A Keto Christmas is NOT in my future.

In no way is this a normal time, so hope you’re hanging in there! One day at a time. I’m thankful for our little “reminders” who are just excited that it’s almost Christmas. Who can’t smile when you see this cute little I-am-smiling-for-the-camera-mom face? Certainly not me. HO HO HO!

2 thoughts on “So Close to Santa.

  1. I LOVE IT!!!!! I think each blog is fantastic and you write the next one and it’s even better💫 There is extraordinary talent in the Johnson house and I’m so proud of each of you!! Thank you for making my day. Love you all😘

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