I love this time of the year but it always catches up with me too soon! It starts around the end of November and by the time I am baking my xmascookies I already feel rather the sense that the Holiday season will be a thing of the past once more. Like some of you might have noticed I have not written for some time and that is just because of that fact.
A had a blast with Saint Nick on the 6th of December. He got tons of toys and loved his umbrella that much that he even watched television holding on to it. His father decided that this was also the right moment to get the first real Lego into the house. Well, that day I ended up in the pouring rain looking for some lost Lego-pieces on a parking lot. Turned out that I, the Lego-expert, had put them wrong back on the plane!
Once we had finished the tons of chocolate Black Peters and Saint Nicks and tried to cope with the last crumbs of gingerbread it was time to decorate my classroom and give our house a touch of xmasstyle!! A loves that part. He really helped out this year. Getting all the boxes down of the attic and trying to find the right beginning of our lights! He put his Playmobil Nativity-set under the plastic tree. This year he was even able to identify all the pieces by name.
By now I had to start writting my first report cards as well. Traditionally I had to face the fact that modern technology always has a downside. And that it always takes much longer to get everything in order then you really want. Also the fact that my assistant-teacher was going to leave at the end of this term started to make me feel a bit down.
Also traditionally the three of us ended up with a cold. Kleenex and some traditional weapons against running noses, sour throats and rather sexy sounding voices were called in. A used all the objects he saw fit to leave some of his.
The trip to NYC then started to fill me up with that typical xmasfeeling. I awed once more at the xmas-tree in front of Rockefeller and just gasped at every shopwindow that I ran into. My alltime favourite ones: Saks on 5th Avenue, the Disney Store, Cartier but the one that really made me smile was the one of Sony. They decided to go chocolate this year and once you were standing in front of their store the only thing you were able to smell was exactly!
One of our highlights of the trip was the view on top of Rockefeller!! We went up high in the sky and were able to have many Kodakmoments in the Rainbowroom. The fact that it was freezing cold and the sky was that blue that it hurt your eyes just made it more special.
Of course we ended up in some shops as well and I finally decided to spoil myself with one of these gadgets that I always wanted: a Nindendo DS lite. I now end up training my brain daily and seem to be older then I imagined but I won't give in. I also went for the What is Cooking game and will be able to create some new dishes with the help of a personal coach!
Once we dragged our filled up suitcases back into Belgium I ended up in Leuven for my last classes of the semester. In a few weeks the first examinations will be a fact. They won't be a laugh because it is a bit too much to handle with a job and a family but I will try to pass.
I then passed on the filled in report cards to their rightful owner. Many smiles were to be seen and most of the parents left content and cheerful this time. Next on the programme was our traditional xmasparty at work. We sipped from Gluhwein and ate cake in the shadow of the xmaslights. The first xmascards arrived and so did the first gifts from around the world to put under the tree. A his patience was really put to a test when he was told a million times not to open any of those presents till xmaseve!
By now A and I had officialy xmasholiday and we had to start planning the family xmasdinner. I called in Nigella, Tana Ramsey, Martha Stewart and Albert Heijn! P had the brilliant idea to have his family over and the prospect of having to cook for inlaws didn't make me very cheerful. A had begged me to bake some Madeleines and so I did! And I baked some lemoncookies as well ot fill up the cookiestins. Our house now seemed to look and smell more and more like a place were xmas could be celebrated!
The planning of the menu was one thing, creating the feast was an other chapter. A joined me on the several supermarkets attacks. At one moment I thaught that I was going going to loose it. I had never seen that many people looking for ingredients. A was the only one who seemed to think that this was great fun. My shopping bag was screaming for help but only got some support from some snowmen and snowflakes-lights! Yes, I even have shopping bags that I can only use for this season and I am proud of it! Thank you B-family for across the Channel for these great bags from Tesco!
By now it was 1 p.m and I was trying to cook all the things that I had in store for my most ciritical guests. P was still at work and over the radio they were still playing joyfull music. My house looked like a mess, so did my kitchen, so did A and so did I!!! There and then I lost it and started to scream in order to get all the negative energy out.
To cut a long story short: I managed to let the house shine, deck the table, look decent enough to leave the kitchen and feed the hungry souls. The most critical foodinspector that night was 2,5 years old nephew A and when he had finished tons of appetizers and a mocktail he wondered when the real food was going to arrive!
By ten our house was empty, our dishwasher full, the Champagneglasses back were they spend most of their time, A dreaming of Santa and I felt so light and content. I cuddled up closely to P on the sofa and we listened to the silence. Silent Night was reality8n I slept like a rose that night.
The next day we ended up at my mother's house where we were spoiled and A and his cousins played round the xmastree with santa hats on their heads. We played boardgames and laughed with stupid answers. By ten we drove home with A in his new PJs (a rocket on it!!!) and his new bonnet made in Ecquator (gift of his auntie Lilly)!!!! I was also given my new name by my favourite niece A: auntie Lolly
Today we printed out our traditional New Year's letter (proof to be found in many letterboxes in the next days to come!) and we went to see Madagascar 2. A liked to move around, ate tons of popcorn and asked to wash his hand while the Alec the lion was dancing through the Savanna, Marty the Zebra was spitting the last water to be found out there, and Melvin the Giraf was about to be sacrificed in a vulcano and saved by a gorgeous hippo.
The next days will be quite hectic and fun as well. It will be days to remember and to frame! A will be able to spend quality time with us and we will feel cheerful. We will end up in warm and cozzy homes, eat food prepared with love, read many wishes written with love as well, kiss many red cheeks when the bells chime 12 on the last day of 2008 and feel happy that we are blessed with that many friends and family!
One of my best moments that I have spend with A this holiday season was when he was decorating the house for xmaseve and saw the picture of the grandfather he never knew and granny who died a few years ago. He smiled and then he told them them the story of the birth of Jezus. Yes I felt so proud of him and my heart smiled. The feeling I sensed then was one of believe! I can't really describe it what is sensed like but there and then I knew that the miracle of xmas lives in all of us. Hopefull you had yourself a little xmas as well. We will wrapp this one with love and put a big red bow around it knowing that peace can only be felt when really trying!