Last week of school before the holiday break. I could sense some anticipation as I drove the girls to St. P’s this morning. There are a series of parties and other holiday activities scattered through their weeks, and then they all get extra early dismissal on Friday. The first graders do an annual Living Nativity program that day, and then they, and their siblings, can leave school early.[1] So we’ll leave right around 11:00. All the spelling and math tests that usually fall at the end of the week are clustered around Wednesday this week. So it’s going to be a pretty easy academic ride for them.

But overall the girls seem pretty chilled out about Christmas compared to recent years. Perhaps that is just them getting older. And/Or having the riddle of where gifts come from solved. Or maybe it’s just the weather. Other than that surprise snowstorm the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and a few cool days at the beginning of the month, it’s often felt more like April than December. We’ve had heavy clouds hanging over us that look like they could dump snow at any moment, but the temperature has been well into the 60s for most of the last week. I’m all for snow around Christmas, but admit I’m fine with an unseasonably warm end to the year. And mild winter for that matter. The last three have sucked.

The girls have also been more interested in TV shows that are not primarily aimed at kids this year. If there’s a holiday bake-off type show on, they are glued to the TV. They also are enjoying the Christmas lights competition shows. I think they’ve been watching all the traditional shows I’ve recorded, but they often do that on their own.

“Hey, anyone want to watch Rudolph?” I’ll ask.

“We already watched it,” will be the reply.

L’s mood may be altered a bit because she got an early Christmas present last week. After seeing C’s list, which included an iPhone, an iPad, and an iPod,[2] L. added an iPod as item #11 to her list. She lucked out as one of her aunts brought a box of old electronics over for me to dig through and see what could be given to Good Will or put into a yard sale and then what should just be pitched. There was an old 30 GB iPod in the box. I charged it up, let it play for a few hours to confirm it worked, and then passed it along to L. The case is cracked a little, but it plays just fine.

At first she wasn’t sure what to do with it. She probably hand’t seen an iPod of that generation in years, if at all. But once I showed her how to operate it, she began taking it everywhere. She struggles a bit to keep earbuds in her little ears, though. So I found her some over-the-ear headphones in the Target dollar bin. As soon as she gets home from school, she changes her clothes, throws on her headphones, and walks around listening to her tunes. She even falls asleep with them on. The look fits her hip-hop personality quite well, even if she’s mostly listening to Kids Bop and Christmas music.

  1. The last school day of the calendar year is always an early dismissal at 1:00.  ↩
  2. Whose daughter is she?  ↩