As fall winds down and Christmas edges ever closer to the horizon, the kids in the Desperate Household have been getting increasingly excited about all the pomp and circumstance that comes with the holiday season.
Yesterday morning I was signing Batman’s reading log for school and he squinted at my writing in puzzlement. “What’s the date, mom?” I told him December 1, and he shrieked with glee. “That means it’s almost Christmas!!” Yes, I told him. Nearly. We had a brief conversation about how long, exactly, it was until Christmas.
When we got to the number of weeks, Batman’s eyes got big. He looked at his sister and said “Sissie!! We only have three and half weeks before Santa comes. We better hurry and be good!!”
I agreed wholeheartedly with the sentiment.
Annabelle and Batman are at the age now where they have each, independently, heard rumors at school and in various places that there is, in fact, no Santa Claus (shudder). They have made the (I think wise) decision to continue to Believe. As my astute little Annabelle put it “I think, Mom, that if you don’t believe in Santa then he won’t come see you. If you do believe in him, he will.” She backed up this analysis with the fact that the kids at school who believed there was a Santa always got presents from him. Those who didn’t, never did.
It makes perfect sense.
In conjunction with the visit by the fat man in the red suit, the kids have been overjoyed with anticipation over the impending arrival of Sparkles the Elf. Sparkles has come to spy on our family for the past two years, and performed such a number of exciting escapades during her visits that I am honestly not sure what she can do to continue, let alone top them, this season.
Really, I mean I have no freakin’ idea.
Anyway, arrive Sparkles did, yesterday while the kids were at school. Her manifestation this year looked like this.
I thought she was fairly clever to spell out “Be Good” with the M&Ms, and she had written a well-worded letter telling the kids that basically they’d better stop fighting or Santa was cutting them off, for reals this time. She said how she hated to have to give Santa a bad report on a family, then, for good measure, she added a paragraph about how tired she was from making toys and how the kids SHOULD NOT FREAK OUT if for some reason she did not return to the “shop” (Sparkles has gotten pretty casual with us by now) one night, because it did not mean she was sick or dead or paralyzed or anything at all really, she was probably just resting.
She brought her now-traditional Christmas mugs and a brand new can of hot cocoa mix, along with two stuffed reindeer and a Christmas Countdown calendar for each child. I thought she was pretty generous.
The questions started just as soon as the kids approached me in the pickup line at school. “Had I left the house?” (Sparkles has a history of only showing up when no one is home) and “Had Sparkles come?” (I said I couldn’t answer that question), and so on and so forth, over and over again at an increasingly higher pitch for the whole five-minute drive home.
I had not shut off the engine in the truck before my excited progeny were out and bounding toward the house. They whooped with excitement when they spied Sparkles at the top of the little tree.
Then they settled in to read the note.
Annabelle read the whole thing out loud, carefully sounding out any words that were somewhat unfamiliar. Apparently Sparkles and I share the same propensity for using expansive and unwieldy language, preferring two or three words where one would do nicely.
The reading took her a bit.
When she was finished reading the note, the kids summarily destroyed the carefully designed M&M message that it had probably taken Sparkles at least fifteen minutes to design, stuffing as many of the red and green candies in their mouths as possible.
They opened their individual Christmas Countdown calendars and devoured the little chocolate snowmen hidden under the flap marked #1. Batman expressed his delight over the calendar, but his sister was less than impressed.
“She brought us this same thing last year,” Annabelle said matter of factly. She started to walk away, then stopped and turned, briefly. “I’ll bet Sparkles was tired from all the flying to get here. That’s why she didn’t do much when she got here this time.” Then she continued on to her room.
I guess Miss Sparkles the Elf had better get her game on.