Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holly Daze

I will avoid the trite and repetitive post about how the long days of Christmas Break stretched ahead of me... until it was the final days of break, and then the days all tumbled upon one another... until the holidays had passed and I was left with a list of undone tasks.

Even though that is what happened.


And I didn't make a list.

But I should have.

Mike and Diane came down for Thanksgiving, which was really nice because we get to do very little with extended family because of busy schedules and long miles. As is tradition, Justin & Cameron ran the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning, while I made some (Pinterest-inspired) finger foods for the day.

Benjamin joined the fun at the Y collecting pockets full of acorns while he waited for the boys to return to the finishing line. When he came home to see a big bowl of nuts on the table, he was adamant to add his collection to the bulk.

Jason cooked a big meal and then Thanksgiving night Diane, Justin and I went to Wal-Mart. That place was INSANE... never again, never again... I whimper as I huddle in a corner flinching at the memory. We went out Black Friday shopping the next day too. We went later in the day and kept a pretty casual attitude about it though, so that wasn't stressful at all. The crew went bowling while they were here and we had a Fred's breakfast before they head back out of town.

We missed the Christmas Parade because Benjamin was sick. I cannot pretend to be too sad about missing a night time parade of over 100 entries, mostly, walking... sorry, Grinch that I am.

The month raced by and then it was time for Break. The Key Club, of course, stayed busy and did a lot over the holidays. The holiday season kicked off with the school-wide food collection, bringing in over 1,500 canned and boxed gods to help feed families in our community over the holidays. Then, the kids volunteered 2 days at both the local toy distribution programs- one with the police department and the other with Social Services. There was, of course, bingo at the Nursing Home, and the kids went to a different nursing home to Christmas Carol too. We created a donation basket to help with a holiday raffle. Then there was the Christmas Party and Cookie Exchange, and surely other events I am forgetting, because there is so much. Always, so much.

Cameron passing time during a slow flow in the evening with the police volunteers for the event.
I had hoped to fit in three Hampton Roads holiday events- Lights at Norfolk Botanical Gardens, ice skating at MacArthur, and Christmastowne at Busch Gardens. Time whittled down though and I had to choose just one, so we went to Christmastowne. It is only the second time we have ever gone, but the crowds were just as busy as the first time two years ago.

Overflow parking; a long tram ride to gate. Over 90 minutes in line waiting to see the penguins. About an hour in line waiting to see Santa before a cranky & soggy kid made us abandon that line. Grabbed dinner and Benjamin fell asleep before we could do the train ride or Sesame Street show. And although so much time was spent just... waiting... it was still worth the whole adventure because "pen goons" were Benjamin's new fascination before going and that was just fueled all the more after seeing them, which he distinctly remembers and gets excited to talk about.

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