Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Getting Ready for Christmas

It was showering hard when I awoke to cursing and blasting 80's music this morning. Ran Barbie In A Christmas Carol as I ate. The second Barbie holiday special is another adaptation of a beloved Christmas novel, in this case Charles Dickens' most famous novel. Barbie's telling a frustrated Kelly stories again, this time on Christmas Eve when the little girl would rather stay home and do what they always do than attend a fancy charity ball. Her older sister narrates the tale of Eden Starling, a singing star in Victorian England who is the toast of the town...but is also a bratty diva who makes Hilary Booth look like a kitten. She treats her best friend like a maid and refuses to let the rest of the performers in her variety show go home for Christmas. It takes visits from three ghosts and an encounter with a group of orphans to change Eden's mind about charity and the holidays...and Kelly's mind, too.

Spent the rest of the wet, gloomy morning putting up the remaining Christmas decorations. I have all kinds of things I've picked up all over for as far back as childhood in some cases. Mom gave me a bunch of things when she, Dad, and Keefe moved, and later when she went through her old decorations. She sewed the adorable little bear made from poinsettia-print fabric with the embroidered black eyes, the stuffed printed elves, and the little gingerbread man and women and the stuffed star garland in the 80's and 90's.

Gretel, an adorable Beanie Baby gingerbread girl, was a present from Amanda a few years ago. The trio of Eckard's holiday beanies, the little nutcracker, foot-long vintage Santa with his present list cardboard hanging, 60's-era Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers, and the tiny baskets of greenery and miniature wooden candy canes and holly berries were salvaged from Mom's decoration collection. Mom's sister Terri gave me the American Girls Christmas tin when I was in high school. Mom sent me the mini-tree in college; I bought the tiny string of fake "lights" and tiny silver snowflake garland from JoAnn's in Westmont before they moved.

Holly the doll, the copper bell with the candy-cane cut outs, and the heavy resin Santa figure were Christmas presents from Mom. The three miniature and two larger porcelain bears in Santa and Christmas outfits, Disney Winter Cinderella in her huge cream and gold gown, poinsettia garland around the resin Santa, the slender stuffed gingerbread girl I hang on the wall in the kitchen, and the four Beanie Baby holiday bears were yard sale finds. My Aunt Jayne gave me the little light-up snow globe. The rolly-polly bear and reindeer toys that (used to) light up and play "Jingle Bells" were after-Christmas finds. I named them Clarence (the bear) and Rudy (the reindeer).

Switched to some Max & Ruby while I cleaned up and got ready to head out. "Ruby's Puppet Show" will be a great success, if Max would just sit in the audience instead of trying to join the show! Ruby and Louise are practicing their "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" in "Sugar Plum Max," but they can't get the pirouettes right. Max just want the sugar plums Ruby intends for after their performance. Ruby's having her first fancy party, but things get hairy when the ants from "Max's Ant Farm" get loose!

It was just damp and gray when I went out to run errands. I was originally going to start at the Oaklyn Library, but a sign in the door said they were closed until 1. It was 12:30. I really didn't feel like waiting around. I dodged the traffic on Cuthbert and ended up at Dollar Tree instead. I needed sponges and tissues. Also took a peek at the big Game Stop to get ideas for one of Lauren's Christmas presents.

Went to lunch at Wendy's. I saw a commercial on YouTube for their new Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger and wanted to try it. While the cheese and meat tasted more fake than like meat and Gouda, the bacon wasn't bad, and I liked the fresh vegetables they used, including real green lettuce (not iceberg). I enjoyed the burger, fries, and Diet Coke while watching a mother and her 2-year-old boy play inside and the cars pass outside.

The rain had just started again when I rode up the hill to the Haddon Township Library. Needless to say on day with such nasty weather, they were quite busy. I had a lot to do. I got most of the kids' DVDs in (though this time, it was the B and D titles that were overflowing). Had a harder time with the adult titles; there were two A and a whole pile of N and O discs I couldn't fit. Had more luck with the CD's, new releases, and huge stacks of books on hold.

For the first time in a few weeks, I took some items out. Grabbed the Christmas specials for The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That, Sofia the First, and the current Care Bears show Welcome to Care-a-Lot. They finally got the much-ballyhooed Disney Channel movie Descendants in. Having enjoyed the somewhat similar Ever After High, I thought I'd give this story of the offspring of Disney villains who learn that being good isn't so bad a chance. Also took out two CDs, a Christmas album for jazz artist Dave Koz and the Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga duet album.

Went across the street to Thriftway to make one last quick stop and get out of the heavy shower. I wanted to pick up their cheaper eggs ($2.79 - the Acme's have gone up to $3.39!). Was delighted to discover that they also had great prices on toilet paper, 69 cents for their 1,000-sheet generic rolls. I bought two, plus some more Gingerbread Peeps for a treat. (I still haven't seen those at the Acme.)

The rain finally started to slow down as I dodged the early rush-hour traffic. I went straight home. By the time I got in, the rain had finally stopped. I arrived damp, but not as wet as I did when I got to work yesterday.

After I put everything away, I spent the rest of the evening working on Babes In WENNland. Betty shoos Hilary and Jeff out, still fussing over the spilled water. Scott gives the kids candy canes and tells them he'll take them to watch "Amazon Andy," but has to take a phone call from a sponsor. Betty talks Mr. Eldridge into reading them a story, but he falls asleep before he's barely gotten started.

The kids take this opportunity to explore the station and see if their mother has arrived yet. She hasn't...but they see something else important in the hall outside WENN. Pruitt is paying off two vaguely sleazy private eyes to find out what Scott's doing and where the station's money is going. The kids try to warn a none-too-happy Scott after he's told Betty and Mackie about how angry Broomes Brothers is over the holiday shows not going on, but he doesn't listen. He does take them to meet C.J and watch the "Amazon Andy" broadcast. Alan is dismayed that his hero is the same man who played Santa Claus. Lisa scolds him that it's all kid's stuff anyway.

Lisa convinces Scott to let them explore on their own while the others take down the Christmas decorations. They overhear something in Studio B and decide to investigate. They get stuck in the dark room and, after Alan teases his sister, decide to nap for a few minutes...before Lisa sees Mr. Eldridge walking by, towards the back of the room...or is it?

I got so into my writing, it was quarter after 7 before I had leftovers for dinner and started Cranberry-Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins. Watched The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas as I ate and baked. The Cat, Nick, and Sally have to take frisky baby reindeer Ralph home to Freeze-Your-Knees-Snowland after he gets lost in the Thing-a-Ma-Jig. This isn't as easy as it sounds. The Thing-a-Ma-Jig keeps breaking down, landing them in tropical climates, and even in the ocean! Along the way, they learn about the winter migration patterns of elephants, red crabs, dolphins, and reindeer, and how each type of animal has a way to keep their group together as they travel.

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