Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Adventures

On his first Christmas Blake was only seven months old and on the second we were in Israel, so this year it's the first "real" Christmas for us. Well as real as a Christmas can get for non-religious Jews.

We knew in advance what Blake would like. Since he's still not reading my blog I can reveal that he's getting six talking Thomas the Tank Engine toys. Almost at the last minute I decided that the adults should also buy presents for each other and in that case the dogs shouldn't be neglected either.

So on Wednesday when Blake was left at his last day in the nursery Miron and I went our separate ways to purchase presents and Miron also did food shopping at Marks & Spencer's buying the most amazing yummynommynummy foood ever (we're going to double our weight over the weekend, at least that's the plan).

I had to pop into Miron's office to pick up the post, make photocopies and mail something. At that point I had about two hours left to get my shopping done and be on my way to pick up Blake. Blake is into Winnie the Pooh nowadays so he has to get a Tigger. I assumed I could find one in Hamley's, the world's biggest toy store, or the Disney Store. I couldn't find the Disney Store and assumed it has closed or moved. Hamley's was next.

Hamley's is a very dangerous place. You go there looking for one thing and come out with tons of things you didn't intend to buy. Just as I walked in I picked up a magic blackboard since Blake likes drawing and reading. I found a big fluffy and velvety Tigger on the third floor even though one of the assistants told me they weren't selling Disney products. Another employee was impressed by the Tigger and asked me where I got it. Is the store that big that employees keep getting surprised by what they can find there?

When I walked past the customized CDs stand I had to see if they had any new CDs. Blake already has two CDs with cute catchy songs that use his name "Wake Up, Blake" etc. There was a new Christmas disc so I just had to get it, right? For the dedication I asked the guy behind the counter to write "To Blake, Happy Christmas from Daddy & Papa."

"What's the difference?" He asked.

"What?" I didn't understand.

"Daddy and Papa. It's the same thing."

"There's two of us: one of us is Daddy and one of us is Papa." I said without getting into detail.

He smiled and we wished each other a happy Christmas.

He might figure out we're a gay couple or maybe think I'm suffering from a split personality disorder. Whatevs.

I also looked for something for Miron and I ended up buying: a secret present for Miron, sweets, a book, and two miniature animals and that's on top of a few books I picked up from a bargain book store on the way to Hamley's. At some point I just walked through the store staring at the ceiling to avoid temptation. When I reached an entire section dedicated to Thomas the Tank Engine I quickened my pace.

The last few items were purchased in a hurry as I realized I was running out time and needed to already be on my way to pick up Blake. I tried running through crowds of people, which is never fun. 

The light decorations in the street were nice, but on Regent Street there's always some ghastly lights sponsored by the latest Hollywood Christmas cash-cow, this year it's the third Narnia film. I really really hate advertisements. You can pay to remove ads from otherwise free software, but how can I get an ad-free life?



On Thursday I popped out to buy presents for the dogs. They almost didn't get them because, while I was away shopping for them, they decided to be naughty so close to Christmas (amateurs: you're supposed to be naughty right after Christmas after you already claimed your gifts from Santa). Our handyman, whom they adore, threw them a toy and they started fighting over who gets it. To make things worse Miron got bit when trying to separate them, but only noticed the blood afterwards. 

Last night I was supposed to take the Christmas tree down from the attic. It's a really nice fiberglass tree that glows in lots of different colours and we used it for several years now. It was two years since it was last used, so while I roughly remembered where it was back then, two years is a long time. We added lots of other stuff to the attic and I looked everywhere and couldn't find it. In the morning Miron also went up to take a look. It was the morning of Christmas Eve and we had no tree...

Now this part could be a family Christmas movie. The whacky Blumentals couldn't find their tree and had to embark on an adventure to secure a tree at the last minute. The end result was far less entertaining. I first went on foot to the high street to see if any of the local shops had trees, sliding on the icy snow and nearly falling with every step. Then we all piled up into the car and found a real pine tree, lights and decorations at Home Base. The end.

To make it an entertaining Christmas family movie we should've befriended a little girl with bad attitude, crossed paths with a talking squirrel and foiled a bank robbery on the way to the store. The movie would star Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson and be utterly dreadful, but still make enough money to warrant two sequels.

On the way home Miron dropped me and Blake at the barber shop where Blake behaved as if his limbs were being cut off and not his hair. We didn't remove much as we love his long hair, just enough so he could actually see where  he's going. Walking back home on the icy snow with Blake in my arms was even scarier. The snow has melted just enough to become slippery ice, but somehow we made it without falling even once.

Blake's new doo

By the time we got home Miron already got a head start with setting up the tree and decorating it. He wanted more decorations so I bravely went out again on the slippery ice. 

The tree looked great and once we placed all the presents underneath and lit the fire place it was just perfect. Poor Dexter could smell his gifts (bones, pig ears, dog toys), but wasn't allowed near them. Not finding our fiber glass tree turned out to be a blessing in disguise. This is so much better.

I then washed the dogs in the big walk-in shower we have downstairs in the guestroom, leaving an angry and upset Blake screaming and banging on the door outside. I then took Blake and showered with him.

Our lovely tree

So we're all now sparkly clean and soon we'll be having lovely duck for dinner. I must say I think I'm going to like this Christmas thing. Now, just have to wait until tomorrow morning to open all the presents...!

Oh, I took this picture on Regent Street. 

I guess that's what they mean by a "secret Santa"

Merry Christmas!



Daddy Times Two said...

I can ask this as our family celebrates both Christian and Jewish holidays. Did you tell the story of the Nativity and Holy Family? I am interested as to how the "tradtional" story of Advent and Christmastide is celebrated in your home. That aside, I think it is wonderful that your family was together celebrating all your blessings (Jewish and/or Christian).
Happy Holidays!

All the best,

Mickey said...

We're not at all religious one way or another. We're "technically" Jewish and Blake "technically" isn't. I celebrate the holidays in a very shallow manner, just enjoying the decorations, food and closeness they bring. :)

I don't care about the background of any holiday I celebrate beyond it being an excuse to spend time with my family. As Blake grows older I might incorporate more narrative if it'll look like something he's interested in.

Happy holidays to you too!

Daddy Times Two said...

I find all religions and individual family religious customs amazing. We discuss these subject alot around our dinner table. Religion also encompasses a small portion of my career. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You really have the right idea as all holidays should be centered around family and creating memories.

All the best,

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