Kestrel is spending Christmas out west with her friend Pip, so it has fallen to me to get out our message of holiday cheer. Happy holidays to all! Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule, Happy winter solstice, Merry Christmas, Merry Krissmiss, Happy Boxing Day, Happy New Year, Happy Omisoka, and so forth. (My sincerest apologies to any particular holidays I have forgotten!)
This year, our Roost elected to give Nim a quiet Merry Christmas gift: we took all the Littles from Dolli Lane to our house on Christmas Eve. This accomplished a two-fold gift: we gave peace and quiet to Nim, and we allowed Meikiko to have all her friends over for a sleepover!
To be entirely certain, I’m not sure how we decided who would sleep at which house. Typically, Falcon and I use the bunks at the White house, Meikiko sleeps in her room, and the other girls snuggle down in the bookcase. Sometimes, the Hittys will share one of the bunks in the white house, and Baby B will sleep in her crib in Meikiko’s room. Without really discussing the situation, we held true to our sleeping patterns (because there are not enough beds for everyone in one house or the other). This meant that Falcon and I were solely responsible for the Littles’ sleepover. As Kestrel would say, oh gumdrops.
Thankfully, the Hittys were there to help us tuck them all into bed and read them a story (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas seemed very apropos). Because they were all very anxious for Santa Claus’s visit, they stayed in the room (other than somewhat overly-frequent bathroom trips), though I heard them whispering and chattering long after they should have been in slumberland.
Once they were all asleep, the rest of us retired as well. No one wanted to be the cause of a Santa fly-over!
When morning dawned, all the Littles woke with the sun. They were quite literally buzzing with excitement (I always thought that to be an odd idiom, but after seeing the Littles on Christmas morning, it makes perfect sense!) Their first stop was in our room.
A dozen excited voices would be enough to wake the dead. It was more than enough to get Falcon and me up. We both sat up so abruptly, we smacked our heads on the ceiling. But then the floor was so full of bodies, neither of us could get down. It took a bit of prodding, but we finally got them all to go down to the main room to wait for us. We both needed a minute to shake the stars away.
While we were getting ready, I confessed to Falcon that I was not sure this had been very well planned or executed. He seemed much better able to take their exuberance in stride, though. I’ll have to remember to defer to his caretaking skills in the future, should we find ourselves in a similar situation again.
In the main room, the Littles had dissolved into chaos again. We had a small tree on display, but Santa did not leave presents around it. I think they all thought they had been skipped. There weren’t even lumps of coal!
Oh, poor souls. We always intended to have Christmas morning together in the bookcase with the rest of the Roost. Apparently, though, we forgot to tell them. Oops. To the other house! With that, they were cheerful again. We all trooped through the woods, singing carols. I led the way, and Falcon brought up the rear with Baby Prudence.
At the bookcase house, things were far more festively arranged, with clear signs of Christmas morning (hung stockings, a well-decorated tree with presents beneath, a plate of half-eaten cookies and a mug of cooled tea). The Littles were back to buzzing with excitement.
I think we woke Wren, Sparrow, Lark, and Hazel. They came out, giggling at my bleary-eyed look, and asked how our night had gone.
I don’t think they expected an answer, for Lark promptly took Baby Prudence out of Falcon’s arms and sat down to play with her while the other Littles explored beneath the tree.
The tree was full of games, dolls, and other toys to bring joy to a Little’s heart. They all explored and shared what they found with each other. Nim has done an excellent job with teaching them that they need to work together with what they have. There was not a single vein of selfishness amongst the lot!
One toy in particular caught Baby B’s attention: a brightly-colored metal box. She dragged it over to where she was sitting and worked to get it open. She started to get frustrated, but Sparrow showed her that the knob on the side of the box could be turned, and the box would play a merry tune. Baby B recognized the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” and she sang and danced along.
She did not, however, understand fully what the box would do. At the end, as the weasel pops in the song, a clown popped out of the box. It sudden appearance startled Baby B, who drew back in alarm. For a moment, I thought she might start crying, but then she burst into gales of laughter and wanted the box to play again.
Having the Littles over and hosting their Christmas joy was a great deal of fun. I’m very glad we did it and and very glad that we were able to give Nim some time to rest. But I think I might need to go hibernate until Groundhog’s Day…
I hope everyone has had a wonderful and joyful holiday season!