It's Christmas Eve! I don't usually celebrate Christmas, but since Violet is here, we absolutely had to. :) While my mom made cinnamon rolls, we got out the little Nativity. Isn't it cute? Violet told me the Christmas story while we set it up.
There is a little Mary and a little Joseph! And a very tiny Christ Child. The Nativity even has a little sheep and goat!
Christmas is fun! We're still going to open gifts on New Year, as is my family's tradition, but I'm enjoying celebrating with Violet.
Do you have a Nativity? What are your Christmas Eve traditions?
Today, Violet joined me in one of my favorite holiday traditions- going to Lincoln Center to see The Nutcracker! We went a little early so that we could go to Starbucks beforehand. We each got a caramel apple spice and waited outside until the theatre opened. My moms suggested we take some photos, so we took off our jackets and climbed up on the fountain. Don't we look pretty in our matching dresses?
Here's lovely Violet in her holiday dress. When we went shopping for Nutcracker dresses, she spotted this one and insisted that we buy matching dresses! I didn't mind, since Violet is my very best friend. She and her mama are probably the only people who can convince me to wear a dress!
Here I am in the promenade. I took a photo on this very same spot when I saw The Nutcracker last year! I love going to the Koch Theatre. It was designed especially for ballet- for the NYC Ballet. Even though we'd just finished our caramel apple spices, Violet and I asked for some sparkling grape juice. My moms told us that we had to wait for intermission!
Before the performance began, we went out on the balcony outside the promenade. From the balcony, you can look down on the fountain and see the other theatres on the plaza. The afternoon sun was shining- doesn't Violet look pretty in the winter sunlight? Soon we heard the chimes calling us into the theatre- the performance was about to begin!
The performance was beautiful! Violet's favorite part was the party scene, where all the children dance in their beautiful party clothes. I like the second act, which takes place in the Kingdom of Sweets. My favorite dance was the Spanish Hot Chocolate. It was also fun to see the polichinelles from the audience! (That's the piece that I dance in.) But best of all was seeing our friend Coral perform as Marie/ The Little Princess! She did beautifully!
After we watched the dancers take their bows, we went back out into the theatre to take a few last photos. Here's Violet with the promenade below her and the theatre behind her. Doesn't she look lovely?
Here's one last photo of me in the same spot. I had a wonderful time with Violet! I'm so glad she got to share in this holiday tradition with me!
Have you ever seen The Nutcracker? What was your favorite part?
This morning I was sleeping, dreaming about The Nutcracker. All of a sudden, I woke up and remembered! Today is Sankt Nikolaus Tag, or in English, Saint Nicolas Day! My grandfather's name is Nicolas and he always celebrates Sankt Nikolaus Tag. In this holiday, German kids will leave their shoes by the front door and Sankt Nikolaus will fill them with toys or candy. In our family, we leave our shoes by our beds because people will steal them if we leave them outside the door!
I got up, being careful not to look down at our shoes, and found Violet. She was fast asleep too!
I shook Violet awake and reminded her why we had to wake up so early. "Oh yes!" said Violet. "That's why we sang that German carol last night!" Every year on December 5, we sing a special carol called Lasst Uns Froh Und Munter Sein. The verses end with "bald ist Nikolausabend da!" The lyrics mean "Soon St. Nikolaus Eve will be here." I really like the song. Violet loves to travel and learn new languages, so we had lots of fun as she learned the words.
It was time to see what Sankt Nikolaus left me! Oh my, it was a Squishable red fox!! I had just gotten the arctic fox for my birthday so now I had both kinds of foxes. Yay! What did Violet get?
Violet had received a Squishable red panda! I know she loves mine; I'm so glad she got one of her own!
We were both so happy St. Nicolas decided to stop by our house!
Do you have any special holiday traditions? How do you like to celebrate the winter holidays?
This winter, Coral and I are honored to be performing in the Nutcracker! Today, Coral had her photos taken at the fountain in Lincoln Center Plaza. Doesn't she look beautiful? She is performing as Marie, the main character in the show. (Most companies call that role Clara, in case you're a bit confused!)
Coral is so excited about her part! She started performing a few days ago and she is loving it. I'm performing in the other class as a polichinelle- Nutcracker season is my favorite part of being a ballet student. There's just something so magical about hearing the music and waiting in the wings. The Nutcracker music is played a lot at this time of year- whenever I hear it when I'm out shopping, my feet automatically want to dance!
Doesn't Coral look beautiful in her costume? It was specially made for her by Melody Valerie Couture.
And last of all, here I am in my polichinelle costume- also by Melody Valerie! This is my third year as a polichinelle. It's because I'm just the right size for the costume. That's okay though- I love the role!
Have you ever been in a holiday play or performance? What did you do?
It was time for my 11th birthday party! I stood nervously by my present table with my friend Meritaten. Would my guests have a good time?
The doorbell rang and in tumbled my other guests- it was time for the party to begin!
First up was the piñata! I spun around, swung my stick, and SMACK- I hit it! It didn't break though- time for someone else's turn!
Next up was Fiona, then Meri. They couldn't break the piñata either- it was tough! Then it was Coral's turn- WHACK! She smashed it!
The candies spilled out onto the floor and we all scrambled to gather them up. Whee!
Next came "Pin the Ear on Cheburashka!" Fiona went first- she got him right in the belly!
I spun and spun and stumbled toward the wall- would I get the ear in the right place? I didn't want to be embarrassed at my own party!
Right on the mark!!
But wait- everyone called out "Don't take off the blindfold! Spin! Spin!"
So I spun!
"Stop!" yelled a strangely familiar voice, "Take off your blindfold!"
It was Violet, my very best friend in the entire world! She had flown all the way from Utah just for my party! What a fabulous surprise!
I gave her a huge hug. We hadn't seen each other in two years and we were so excited to be together again!
"Okay, okay!" said Coral, "time for cake!"
"Happy Birthday Dear Inky!" sang my friends! "Happy Birthday to you!"
I thought hard before I made my wish. After all, what could be better than what I already had- a roomful of friends? Finally, I closed my eyes and blew out the candles.
It was time for presents!
Meritaten handed me her gift- a big green box with a brown bow. What could it be?
A Hello Kitty caboodle with a panda notebook and some pencils! Thanks Meri!
Then came a giant striped box with a light green bow from Coral.
It was a bright orange, limited edition Ice Bat Uglydoll!!! Thanks Coral- you're the best!
Next was a big pink gift with a white bow from my friend Fiona. I shook it- what could it be?
A little Japanese red panda figurine for my bedroom!! Wow! Thanks Fiona!
Then came another stripy gift from my dear friend Violet. She and her mama always send the best gifts! I jumped up and down with excitement!
A holiday inkpad with eight little stamps!! How cool! Violet and I would have to use them to make holiday cards for our friends!
Then came the present from my parents. I wasn't expecting much because I knew my big present was Violet's visit.
But it was a Squishable arctic fox!!! Yay! Holy hotdogs, what a great present!
Finally Coral handed me my last present. "This is a very special present," she said. "Sabine, Sandrine, and Aurélie sent this package all the way from France!"
Whoa!! It was a really cool blue shirt, a magnetic pig, and three cards from my French friends. Thank you so much mes amies! I especially loved Sandrine's card, which was decorated with all my favorite things. How thoughtful!
My mom took a picture of me with all my gifts. I'm a lucky girl! What a blessing to have so much wonderful friends!
My friends and I all gathered for one last photo before everyone (except Violet!) went home. It was a wonderful day! What a pity that birthdays come only once per year...