December has been a whirlwind, hasn't it?

This is one of my favorite Christmas decorating traditions.  In a sweatshop I set up in the living room, I made the Shortlings string these popcorn and cranberry garlands while watching a A Christmas Carol with Sir Patrick Stewart, which is wonderful, but we all are compelled to randomly yell, "Make it so, Tiny Tim" in our Captain Picard voices (which sound surprisingly like our Sean Connery voices; we are not good impressionists) at the television every few minutes during the viewing, which I don't think Dickens intended.  And then we watched this.

Shut up, Wesley.

The Shortlings have each prepared a Christmas wish list for Santa.  Which I shall share for posterity's sake.  Here is the Caterpillar's, sic in [ ]:
  1. Goggle Eyes [google]
  2. Hihels [high heels]
  3. Malifasint [Maleficent]
  4. Fary pack [fairy]
  5. Nfer bellow from brave
  6. Pet
  7. Playdow cake mownten
  8. Mrkr makr [maybe I could just ask Santa to bring her some vowels?]
  9. Stretchins
  10. Dowvenchy
  11. Phone
  12. Magic
Some notes:
#5 = the KoH seems to understand this one so he's handling that. 
#10 = neither of us knows what that is. 
#11 = no way, José.  
#12 = My coworker was looking over this list and when she saw that item, said, 

"Oh, so she wants a magic set?"

Me: "No. Pretty sure she just wants actual magic."

Coworker: "So are you going to get it for her?"

I actually think number #11 pretty much is #12.  But she's not getting either one.

The Dormouse's list is a little more complicated... and demanding.  Parenthesis are hers:
  1. My ears pierced; two on the right, one on the left. And earrings.
  2. A blue scrapbook
  3. A chinchilla and the necessary things (food, cage, bowl, etc.)
  4. Lots of different tinted blue sparkly tulle
  5. Lost of white sparkly tulle
  6. A paint & oil pastel set
  7. Horse riding lessons (English style) (The pommel gets in the way)
  8. Dark blue (semi)-permanent hair dye
  9. Gel pens
  10. Labeling tap (4 a scrapbook)
  11. A good (not cheap trash) Elsa dress & wig
  12. Black tennis shoes
  13. Black & silver rinestones
  14. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  15. Kindle (original) (just 4 reading)
  16. A #20 gift card to Michaels
  17. UNO cards
  18. Reign by Chanda Hahn
  19. To get to spend more time with my friends
  20. Another invisible ink pen/marker (mine is running out)
The Caterpillar has been struggling with Santa this year (though really, we thought she'd worked that out last year, so apparently she's also struggling with memory) and declared that she was uninterested in going out to visit Santa this year.  I asked why.

"It's just some random guy in a suit," she said.

We'd just had a church party where one of the guys we see every week was the guy dressed up as Santa and she was unimpressed. So we had a talk, leaving the door open for her to draw her own conclusions and then we dressed up in all our finery to go to meet Santa at the mall. The Caterpillar was uncharacteristically quiet and wouldn't even look around the corner at the man while we were waiting.   But then it was almost our turn and I said, "Look he's waving at you."

She peeked around the corner and took a look.  Then she looked back at me with wide eyes.  

"I think he has a real beard."

"Hmmm," I said, "So he does."

She went over to sit with him and pose for a picture and immediately started stroking his beard.  She did not stop stroking that beard the entire time she sat there.  

At some point, I walked over from dealing with the photographer and said, "Did you tell Santa what you wanted for Christmas?"

Santa said, "Not yet, we've just been talking about my beard the entire time.  And that's just fine."  

He spent a lot more time with them.  I don't know what she asked him but I have an idea.  I'll always be grateful to that man for being so sweet with her.

The next day we went on a little adventure to help Santa and maybe learn a little bit about what it might feel like to be Santa and bring things to others. The Dormouse declared this to be more fun than all the rest of the Christmas preparations put together.

We are heading to bed for the evening with a plateful of cookies and milk and tiny origami frogs named Norbert being left out for Santa.

Because what else would Santa want, really?

Merry Christmas one and all.