Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Few of my Favourite Christmas Things

There are three I wish to share;

1. Gingerbread cookies

I am loving gingerbread right now. Gingerbread is very in. Upon awaking last Sunday I felt I must have gingerbread. Haki declined my polite invitation to arise and bake me some.

I then imagined how I might conduct that day's Relief Society meeting at church. Amidst announcements, I could pause, look upward, and say, "I'm sorry, I just had a sudden craving for gingerbread". I could then appear to shake it off and continue with the meeting. Then wait and see how many care packages I received throughout the week. An abuse of my position? Perhaps. A worthy social experiment? Surely. A valid test of a congregation's compassion? I think so.

One of my councillors conducted. It was all very disappointing.

2. Whiskers on kittens

One of my students, Ursula, informed me her cat was pregnant a few months ago, and proceeded to give me updates on the swagger in its gait as the pregnancy progressed. I was then advised of the litter size and make-up, and finally, how very very cute the kittens were.

When asked if I wanted a kitten, I quickly excused myself from the offer by alluding to the less-than-fond recollection Haki and I share of our first pet attempt. Indy (full name "Indiana Jones"), an adorable Besian Frise, spent all of a month with us in our Port Chalmers apartment. His amateur breeders had kept him too late without training him the ways of the domesticated...and as a result, his deposits speckling and scenting our home led to his probation and later explusion. Haki is still somewhat bitter, whilst accepting this was a necessary fate.

I then further justified my exemption from kitten-rearing with the all-too-common phrase, "I'm not home enough". Ursula looked at me without sympathy, and revealing the coloured rubber-bands on her braces noted, "You'll be home a lot next year, won't you?" She had me.

I then felt sudden pangs inside me of longing for a kitten. How very peculiar, that in one instant I was adamant I must avoid the entire conversation and suggestion of obtaining a kitten altogether, and the next, I was certain I must have one. I set about mentally preparing my proposal for Haki....and my mother-in-law (whom we will be living with for some of next year while we renovate and prepare for baby's birth).

I specified I wanted the first kitten that learned where to do its business, and my hope it would be a darker kitten.

Over the next few weeks I preferred to entertain my delusions than risk spoiling it all by sharing them with those that should have a hand in the decision.

Then one day, Ursula and her mother brought the kitten to school. The timing was impeccable. I had just learned I would have to re-write a series of school reports. Ursula's head appeared around the door and broke the curtain of my fuming; "Would you like to meet your kitten?" My frustration dissolved as I held the little creature. He had been dubbed "mine" upon finding the kitty litter first and been true to it ever since. He was coincidently (or not?) slightly darker than the others, although still a rather plain and rogue-ish tabby. He appeared slightly more distinguished however, by his ears' and face shape - which are elegant and elongated as a result of his mother being oriental. I decided I must have him.

I described the scene to Haki. He was easily won. Perhaps by his desire to take photos of the kitten, write captions for them, and post them online (please see "Haki and Lolcats"). I shake my head in disgust. Then again, maybe it was because he'd heard on the radio that kittens and puppies pacify crazy people.

I told my mother-in-law. She'd need a few days to think about it, she said.

The weekend following I picked the kitten up for a test run at an early dinner at my mother-in-law's. Surprise! Yes. Manipulation? No!

We set up a litter box in the bathroom, introduced the kitten to it, and then let our possible treasure explore the house. No more than a minute passed before he returned to the litter and proved himself. Mother-in-law = convinced.

We rolled a Scattegories dice and shared names while the unnamed one snuck around, hunted ribbons suspended from door handles, and hid on dining room chairs beneath the table. We rolled "N", and settled on "Ninja".

Aw, Ninja.

3. Colourful packages tied up with string

I think myself very good at wrapping Christmas presents. In fact, I am downright arrogant about it.

I delight when the Christmas season is upon us because I get to wrap things.

I am more excited about presenting my wrapped-up goods than their being opened. I want to arrange them in a catalogue-photo-type stack instead of hand them over. I want the recipient to take in the aesthetic-pleasing combination of hues, ribbon, ornaments and shapes.

I want to wrap up other things around the house.

I like wrapping.

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