A few holiday piperisms from the road…
“I heard sleigh bells in the middle of the night. I closed my eyes real tight. Santa doesn’t know when you’re faking it.”
“Ah! I fell down! Now I’m damaged! And my limbs do not work properly.”
“Papa, you smell just like my Daddy. He smells like pizza, too.”
“Alright, Santa. I’m ready for next year. Let the list begin.”
“I really like the beach. Except for the sand part.”
And here’s Piper’s vintage holiday dress from Germany:
Every Christmas Eve Piper, Sissy, and their cousins put on a holiday program. The planning takes the entire week leading up the event. There are negotiations and rehearsals. There is a band, interpretive dances, sing-a-longs, poetry readings, mini-dramas, etc. The Bible is read. The 12 Days of Christmas is performed. We try to limit the holiday program to under an hour. Sometimes we need an intermission.
This year, charades were added. When it was Piper’s turn she obediently sat in a chair in the middle of the circle and asked questions.
“Am I a girl or a boy?”
“Boy!” the crowd roared back.
“Am I an animal?”
There was a pause. “Technically, yes,” someone called out.
“Do I like Christmas?”
Piper squinted her eyes and assessed the family. “Am I real or fake?”
“REAL!” we all shouted.
“I know,” Piper exclaimed, jumping up from her chair, “I’m Santa Claus!”
And the crowd went wild.
It’s cookie making time, folks. First, you roll out the dough with your Sissy.
Then, you cut out the gingerbread “people.”
“I don’t know why they’re just gingerbread men, Mom. That seems so unfair,” Piper complained.
Next, you decorate your genderless cookies. Piper’s gingerbread are a patriotic bunch. The more red, white, and blue icing, the better.
Finally, you eat them. It’s an equal opportunity snack.
Papa outdid himself this year. The Christmas tree seems to be getting bigger with each additional grandchild. A tall ladder is needed for hanging lights and ornaments.
Here is Piper’s view tonight.
Those are the second story ceiling beams near the top of the tree. Next year he may have to put in skylights. Piper approves.
“It’s the most beautiful Christmas tree I’ve every seen!” Piper declared tonight while coloring. Her dad strummed holiday tunes nearby. We all sang along.
Then we guessed at the logistics of getting a tree that large in the house.
“I’ll bet Papa had it delivered,” Sissy said.
“Probably. It definitely wouldn’t have fit in the car,” Daddy agreed.
“Papa knows how to do Christmas. He tries and tries,” Piper said. “You can never give up on Christmas!”
Piper’s dreams are simple: she wants a dog or she wants to be a dog. She also wants chocolate for every meal. Oh, and she wants me permanently attached to her side. Just in case she needs some chocolate.
This morning at our church’s Christmas pageant, one of Piper’s dreams came true. She was transformed into a dog. She got to bark and sleep on stage and generally misbehave. She wore dog ears and a dog nose, which made dog noises when you squeezed it the right way. Just so you know dogs don’t behave just because Baby Jesus decides to make an appearance. Neither did Piper. Fortunately, misbehaving animals were in the script.
The innkeeper’s wife, otherwise known as Sissy, shoed the dogs, donkeys, sheep, etc. out of the barn to make room for Mary and her baby. Sissy called them “filthy animals.” It was in the script. She’s usually not so harsh. Piper the dog understood, even though she’s not used to Sissy speaking to her in such a manner. “It’s ACTING, Mom. I get it.”
The house is officially decked. The tree is up. We’re eating on snowman plates. Holiday music is on tap. All the nativity scenes have been arranged and rearranged. Piper likes to round up all the various baby Jesus’ and puts them in a nursery together. The Josephs like to hang out in a “man cave,” which is probably not that far from the truth of time period. And the Marys? Piper has that figured out, too.
“These Marys need a girls night! They’ve got to be so bored just kneeling there watching the baby Jesus day after day after day. They need to dance!”