After the season got off to a roll with a pre-holiday "just because" pancake party, it was off to the races with the first event: a holiday-concurrent birthday party. Which went something like this:
I think the important thing to point out here is that the child in question was turning 3. I don't think I need to explain beyond that.
Next, was a holiday party at an indoor playground - complete with crafts, cookie decorating, bouncy house, obstacle course, temporary tattoos, face painting, magic show, parachute, and cupcakes.
Throw in some holiday baking (OK, a LOT of holiday baking), walks to admire the neighborhood lights, nighttime train rides to Santa's house, plans for Disneyland, Nutcracker recitals (too much? too soon?) figuring out Santa's list and endless scouring of Internet holiday event listings (amid self-flagellation for each missed event) and the pressure to make this magical season well, magical can get the best of any elf. Especially an elf who has yet to finish her Christmas shopping.
And then sometimes the favor is returned, a thousandfold. Tonight, as I put my girl to bed, after the obligatory sprinkling of magic dust AND powder, she reached under her covers and found some magic powder to scatter over me. It was the perfect, irreplaceable, unsolicited gift.