Jack knows that something is up. His mum keeps singing really cheesy songs about reindeers and snow and there's a guy in a red suit with a beard that just keeps turning up like a bad penny, but he's still not at the GIMMEGIMMEGIMME stage where Christmas = loot.
We've been going to a few playgroup Christmas parties and Jack got presents. In fact at the one on Tuesday, we both got presents. I got one and he got three... now is it just me or is three completely out of control? This is the strange playgroup that is unfriendly and I feel like saying not so many presents, I'd just prefer that you were nice to me for the rest of the year. And I took cupcakes (of course) and they were barely touched. Too fancy? Cooties? I think people were too busy getting stuck into the little boys (aka footy franks aka party saveloys etc) except for Jack who was cramming chocolate into his face. I thought he might hurl on Santa - cleaning that beard would be a nightmare. They just kept on calling Jack's name to get presents and I thought they made a mistake. I actually tried arguing with Santa. Now that's a good idea. I'll be regifting one or two of them (actually they'll be going under the Kmart wishing tree with some other pressies I've got). I also saw a woman who I haven't seen in ages. Didn't recognise her so she had to come up and say hi and I couldn't remember her name. All I could think was it's the tart! When I was doing some restaurant reviews I did training and then a review with her. I remember her telling a story about a waiter who as he served her entree said, "madam, you're the tart..." . She had already been feeling self conscious because she was dining with a man (not her husband) and people might talk. I thought all of this was very funny and henceforth knew her as the tart but as a result still cannot tell you her name.
The playgroup party on Wednesday was a whole other kettle of reindeer. Jack got a present (a popup thomas tent which is a huge hit) but the vibe is friendlier and more relaxed. This time I took gingerbread christmas trees and stars which were very subtle and understated(icing those suckers was a nightmare) but the green food colouring was a hit. I also took watermelon and cherries because I am so healthy. Jack of course ignored the fruit on his plate and ate cupcakes and had a lovely time playing. Then the kids played what's the time mr wolf? and we sang songs and listened to a story.When the pressies were handed out the kids were told to wait till they got home to unwrap them. Soon the sound of ripping paper was heard as this advice was rejected and presents were revealed. Jack didn't want to open his as he was happy playing but the other kids wanted to see what he got. A few people opened their tents then were faced with the problem of how to fold them up again.
The playgroup on Thursdays is having their party next week and I have to take a present this time (a book under $5) which is fine. I also have to take fairy bread. I am under strict instructions not to go to any trouble. This week I took along my leftover uniced trees and stars and the kids had a great time icing and sprinkling and eating. Mmmm...sugar.