Thanksgiving is over, which means I allow my family to listen to Christmas music! Seriously... it's a punishable crime in my house to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. When our family-favorite radio station switched to 24/7 Christmas music programming on November 8, I about had a conniption. I called the station TWICE to complain. My kids have been tortured by MY favorite radio station since that day - classic rock. And by the way... when did Def Leppard and the Police and U2 and Journey become CLASSIC rock?? I'll save that for another blog....
Today, we slept late and ate a leisurely fix-it-yourself breakfast. (I had a bowl of pumpkin pie. :)). Then Aidan got to choose the first Christmas CD of the year (he chose "Children's Favorites"), and we hauled all the Christmas boxes down from the attic. In less than an hour and a half, we had the prelit Family tree all decorated. This was the first year that the boys really got into helping hang the ornaments. It was great fun! My tree is bottom-heavy, but that's okay. I love that they participated so joyfully. There was much laughter and singing this afternoon.
After that, we moseyed downtown for late lunch/early dinner at Chili's, then to the annual Fort Worth Parade of Lights. The parade began at 6:00, and we arrived at about 5:55. Downtown is a MADHOUSE, with tens of thousands of people lining the streets. We positioned ourselves as best we could. We figured at least the boys would be able to see if we sat them up on our shoulders. Nearby was a special seating area where the city (or someone) had set up rows of folding chairs. Everyone thought they were set up for some VIPs, but at 6:10, with the parade already in progress and still no one sitting in those seats, we all decided that prime real estate like that shouldn't go to waste! In a matter of seconds, all the seats were filled, and lucky us... we were on the front row, right across from Bass Performance Hall. :)
At 7:50, the parade was still going strong, and Santa's float still wasn't in site. But our Christmas concert was set to begin at 8, so we hoofed it across the street between floats and marching bands and made our way to our seats inside the hall. We enjoyed the Fort Worth Symphony (the boys' first performance at Bass Hall) and lots of Christmas music. I was a little worried about how the boys would do for a two-hour performance in the near-dark, but they behaved exceptionally well. (Afterward, the older couples in front of us turned around and said, "Your children are marvelous! We never heard a peep out of them!" I accepted the compliment gracefully and thanked them. I'm sure I was beaming.) :)
At the end of the symphony's performance, there was an audience sing-along, and then for the encore, snow fell inside Bass Hall! It was beautiful. At first, you could only see it in the beam of the spotlights. But then the house lights started to come up, and it was like a winter wonderland. The boys were mesmerized. IT really was magical. When the concert was over, Santa was waiting in the lobby, ready to hand out candy canes. Ian was eager to go see him and have his photo taken. Aidan, on the other hand, freaked out and refused to go. By the time he changed his mind, it was too late. But we're going back downtown tomorrow with my sister and her family, and maybe he'll get to visit Santa then. :)
Speaking of... they'll be here at 11:00. I've already put together a yummy brunch casserole and it's overnighting in the fridge. But I still have a lot to do tomorrow before they arrive, which means I have to wake up at a reasonable hour. Which means... why am I still awake at 1:47 a.m.?
Happy Happy HOlidays! Let the craziness begin! :)