"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Advent Activity Calendar: So Far

 Day one: make christmas cards

Day two: decorate the altar

Day three was going Christmas shopping (at thrift stores). I made the girls make a list of people they really wanted to give gifts to, and I gave them each $40 and said I expected that to be enough - but that I would help them budget and if they wanted to use the money to buy craft stuff and make presents, I'd help them come up with ideas and then I would help them make stuff. 

Day four was supposed to be going downtown to the christmas tree lighting ceremony, but as it turned out I had the stomach flue and wasn't going anywhere. Luckily it was pretty much a twenty-four hour bug, and I'm feeling much better today.

Day five, today, we went down to the port for the annual holiday port festival and gingerbread house show. There are many things going on, but the gingerbread houses are the star attraction. So much so that the line to see them was a half an hour long. However it wasn't too bad because there was a stage and local groups performing, ranging from high school jazz bands to barbershop quartets, so we had music while we waited. The houses themselves can be submitted by anybody, and they are sorted into categories from "under 5" all the way up to "professional bakery."  The show is also a silent auction, with the benefits going to local charities. Some of them were truly spectacular, and others were - as we say - "sincere." 

By the time we got through the show, I had had quite enough holiday cheer for one day. As large as the space is, there were enough bodies present to make it hot and close, and I've never been good in crowds. I think I may have some lingering effects of the flu - a couple of times I felt near to fainting. I was very glad to get back out into the chilly, rainy fresh air. 

Tomorrow is the one event we never miss, in any year - Pioneer Park Old Fashioned Christmas. It's a truly amazing event - the park itself is wonderful. It's a big field with approximately twelve original old buildings from the pioneer era that were all moved here from various locations around the count. They are mostly houses but also a church, a barn, and a schoolhouse. They date from the 1870's and 1880's. All of them are furnished with original furniture, stoves, quilts, etc, from the time period - in some cases the actual furnishings that were in those houses. In the summertime the Ferndale Historical Society gives tours on weekends. And for one weekend in December every year, they have Christmas. All the houses are decorated with period decorations, and in each building there is a different activity for children - dipping candles, writing christmas cards that will be sent to soldiers overseas, and of course visiting Santa. I love Pioneer Park Christmas!