My best friends and I were able to overflow the box for our donation drive for Merrymount Family Support & Crisis Centre!
Where last week was still about rushing around trying to get everything done for Christmas, this one was a little more about all that stuff being done. As I mentioned last week, Emelia and I were able to get a serious portion of our shopping done for Danielle—all that remains is a couple of things which should be easy to take care of. But, then the biggest thing – the present she is aware of – I am forced to hold off because Danielle ever the practical (to a fault) one will not allow me to buy the gift at *gasp* regular price. She would much rather that every year we delay Christmas by a week so that we can incorporate the Boxing Day (and Week) sales into our shopping.
The big focus this week was Emelia’s Christmas Concert at school. We didn’t actually get the date until after the December schedule was made at work, so being able to attend involved me pulling in a favour from one of the other managers which I was able to do. The part of me in Emelia is clearly evident in her planning well in advance the needing of and getting a new outfit for the concert. The makeup and curling of of her hair part… I am not sure is me… Thursday after school she came home ready to get ready for the big night. By the time she came downstairs after she and Danielle curled her hair, I found myself wondering where our baby girl had went—this beautiful little lady I was looking at could easily pass for 5 or 6 years older.
The concert was much better this year. Normally after we drop Emelia off the required half hour ahead, the gym is already filled to the rafters with siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, aunts, dogs, cousins, and kids from down the street… In the past we’ve stood with our backs against the gymnasium wall, in a temperature best described as ‘crotch in August‘ and wished we’d either camped out at nine that morning for a better spot or perused Stub Hub for scalper tickets (Maybe there’s a business plan in that?). At any rate, we were delighted to find out that there were actually seats left and there was one by the twins parents that we could sit with them.
The concert was great! It was amazing being able to see Emelia in her element with her friends. She would often flip between being Danielle’s daughter telling the boys beside her to shut up because you could tell she was worried about getting crap for talking, to being my child and not giving a crap about getting in trouble and being the social nutjob. Finally when it was the junior choir’s time to go they didn’t disappoint. And a first, Emelia was in the front row of the choir which meant we could see all the effort she put in to picking out her outfit and hair. They did a great job and ended on the crowd favourite Holiday Lights which involved the gym lights being dimmed and their flashlights became the main event of the song!
So, this weekend found me with another Saturday off and thankfully no running around to do for Christmas shopping. This gave us the day to be a family together which includes waking up however long we can get Emelia to hold off needing us down stairs. Then, we have a probably bad for us breakfast of bacon eggs and coffee—again at the all too popular snail’s pace. And then, eventually after that, we venture our of the house. The only wrinkle in any of this was that with the night before’s snow, I had a driveway to run the snowblower on. After that was done, we sprung from the house and the first stop was our friend Michael & Paulette’s bakery to pick up some treats for the upcoming week. Then, we took in the Western Fair Farmer’s Market and then were off to the mall to do a little bit of window shopping. After all that was done, since it was getting dark, we did the tour of Guildwood Boulevard to see the houses that rival Clark Griswald’s Christmas decorating style. And then it was home for supper and we settled in for some Christmas movies.
Every night this week Emelia has had challenges falling to sleep and ends up waking up way too early. She is so obviously excited about Christmas and is having a hard time with all the excitement and anticipation. This is where I am certain she is my child as I was exactly the same this time of year. The good news is, she only has six more sleeps to contend with and then Christmas is here.
This week in comparison of last week was quiet… well sort of. This week was the full swing start of the holidays. Of course the holiday season feels like it goes on all December with the lights, the tree, the rushing around getting things just right. This week big event for Emelia was her holiday concert at the school. To say Emelia was excited about this night would be the understatement of the year. She and her besties who all joined choir this year practised for weeks leading up to Thursday’s big events. When the kids left for the day Thursday we went right to curling her hair and getting her all dolled up for the night. As with all kids concerts it was an evening of smiles, off-tune music, off tune voices and pure perfection. The girls did a great job and Emelia was smiling from ear to ear the entire night. It really kicked off the holiday season perfectly.
The other thing that has shifted the spirits around here was the knowledge that we are likely going to have a white Christmas this year. Last week we got a blast of snow Sunday night and with extreme cold weather, more snow and more cold weather the white stuff seems to be sticking around. I am not always the biggest fan of the winter but I do love a white Christmas. Now the flip side of the love and want for a white Christmas is the fact that almost the entire week it was far too cold to get the daycare kids out. The temps starting Tuesday were bone-chilling and this meant getting out as not possible, especially with a 13 month old in care. But we made the most of the inside play, I have tweaked my activities with them and we have lots of fun inside learning games lined up this year. The week at times was long and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was counting down to the weekend about the middle of the week. Pre-Christmas excitement has taken over with the kiddos but even though some of the frustrations it is magical to see the excitement of the holidays pour through all of them.
With the holidays in full swing we finished wrapping up the last of the holiday ‘to-do’ lists. This week the Christmas cards were all addressed and mailed out, the secret Santa present for Emelia’s classroom was purchased, the teacher and coach presents were purchased, the food for Emelia’s class pot-luck was prepped and is ready to go for this week, and Emelia even has all her holiday outfits laid out for the daily holiday themes the school has this week. She is beyond excited for the upcoming week and I cannot blame her, her teacher is certainly making this last week before school break fun for the kids.
The other big project this week was helping Emelia wrap things up with her charity drive. A year ago Emelia wanted to give to some children in need at Christmas, we always do the wish tree at her school but she wanted to do more. We discuss with her a lot the real meaning of Christmas and how it is always to give to those in need and how it is always better to give than receive. Last year she really connected to Merrymount, a local family crisis centre. Emelia was so moved by what they do this year that when she and her best friends wanted to do a drive for toys this year we once again focused on helping out Merrymount. The girls spoke to their teacher about wanting to give books, toys and clothes to the centre and over the last few weeks have collected a lot of items to bring in for donation. The girls will go this week to bring all that they have collected and the centre will give them a tour so they will see just where their donations will be used. I am so proud of Emelia for once again leading this and proud of her best friends for being just as passionate about it and working together to collected over 70 books, a bunch of toys and some clothes for the centre.
The week will fly by I’m sure, I have a week of fun activities planned for the kids, Emelia has a full week of school and gymnastics this week. Before we know it Christmas morning, and with only a week until the big day Emelia is bursting with excitement, and so are her parents.