Saturday morning at our house started on a good note. Sophie told us that if we left our shoes out at night, Santa might leave candy in them. During their morning lesson at school, they had left their shoes outside the door, and Santa did indeed leave candy in them. So we tried it at home, and behold: candy. Chocolate coins, no less.
This was the day of Sophie's school's annual Art Faire. School families and local artisans sell goods and a percentage of the proceeds go to the school. The P.T.A. group, of which I am president (yeah, go figure) provides a lunch, and all proceeds from this go to support the school lunch program, which since they serve homemade food of mostly organic ingredients, runs thousands of dollars in the red each year.
Since we can usually count on a chilly day in December, we decided on a menu of toasty tummy-warming food: an awesome homemade turkey vegetable soup, homemade tomato soup, and spanakopita. We also served coffee, tea, and hot cider.
It was a wonderful afternoon, highlighted in particular by goods made and sold by the kids. Sophie sold homemade preserves. We had lavender syrup, pomegranate syrup, rose geranium jelly, apple mint jelly, ranier cherry preserves, whole cranberry sauce, and honey spiced pears. I make a really good spiced fig jam, but Big S. insists it is exclusively for his personal use.
Sophie and I are still bickering about how to split to proceeds. I paid for the ingredients, but she did sit there most of the day running her Target cash register (it chirps "Thank you! Come again" every time a purchase is rung up) since I was in the kitchen serving food. We're schedule to count our money and continue negotiations later this evening.
And a school friend of hers sold felt puppets and hats.
Here's my favorite purchase (yep, merry Christmas to me again): hair sticks. I have long hair and spend most of my work day leaning over manuscripts or page proofs, so I can never have too many of these. Much better than a pencil.
All good, but when we got home after a long day of setting up, cooking and serving food, selling goods, and cleaning up, we were astonished to find a cold and dark home. Where was Big S.? He did not answer his cell phone, and calls to family and friends produced no results. He finally showed up with this:
Yes, it's a large, high-definition, flat-screened TV. I'm sure a reasonable purchase in many households. But, the thing is WE DO NOT WATCH TELEVISION. Really. Do not have cable. Do not have Tivo (still not sure what this actually is). I am aware that there are many quality shows to which I'm sure I would form an addiction if I indulged (Gray's Anatomy, for one). But whereas I have very specific reasons for Sophie not watching television, Big S. and I really just do not have time. Before dinner is time for homework and violin practice, and after is time for reading, bath, etc. We watch a little news on a small television in the kitchen, but the television in our living room is really used only for movies, which we rent and watch about once a week--maybe. And even then, isn't there always something better to read?
So why this purchase? I thought initially that it was a guy-type drive for gadgetry. I knew it was not an impulse buy: As with all other significant purchases, Big S. researched this to death. I think it finally came down to aesthetics: The television we had simply did not fit in well to the built-in bookcase in our living room. The dimensions width-wise were fine, but it stuck out too much. The new flat screen fits in flush, as if it were designed for the space. And I'll be damned if Sponge Bob does't look better on it.
But Big S. was still distressed with the financial implications of his purchase ("Do we need this?" [no] "Does this make any sense?" [not really]) and so engaged in what I could only see as a call for help. To Santa.
Alas, Santa left him only tissue in each shoe. Sophie had an explanation: "Santa is worried about your cold and so he left you tissue. He didn't leave you money because he thought you were being greedy leaving out all those shoes."