Salut mes amis,
Joyeux Noël! Bonne Année! I'm getting off to a late start posting my holiday photos because life has been pretty tough for my family lately. My parents and my sister were supposed to fly over to spend Christmas in America with me, but something put a damper on their plans. Juliette flew over solo, and Maman and Papa were going to follow her. Before they could, Maman's father - my beloved Grandpère - suffered a sudden heart attack and had to undergo emergency surgery. Of course, Maman really couldn't leave her father's side, and Juliette and I wanted to fly home to join her right away. Maman wouldn't have that. She insisted that we celebrate the holiday with our friends first, and then we could come home.
Nathalie, Chiara, and Jessa were all too happy to celebrate Christmas with not only me but also Juliette. We scheduled our party for December 21st, the day after classes let out. We got gussied up, had dinner at a fancy Italian place, and munched on cookies and holiday coffee for dessert. Juliette spent much of the night telling us how her ballet rehearsals were going and how pretty Paris looks at Christmas. She tried not to let the news about Grandpère get her spirits down, although I know she is even closer to him than I am. She does get to see him much more than I do.
Finally, it was present time. Our friends Aimee and Olive had sent us a bag full of presents, but since I had another present to open, I let Juliette open this one.
The first item that Juliette pulled out of the gift bag was a pretty princess wand. She waved it back and forth gleefully, pretending to conjure up some magic. "It'll be perfect for when I play the Sugar Plum Fairy!" she kept saying over and over. Juliette's brain is completely wired for ballet; she never completely stops thinking of tulle costumes and going en pointe!
Next, Juliette unrolled a hand-knit pink scarf. "Oh my, this is lovely! It's sure to keep my neck warm as I'm walking to and from ballet practice!"
"Ooh, this is lovely. It's the Star of Bethlehem that guided the shepherds and the kings to see Baby Jesus! It'll look perfect on our tree this year," Juliette said, gushing over a sparkly ornament.
The last gift Juliette pulled out of the bag changed her spirits completely. "Extra Math practice, oh no! I guess Christmas can't be too happy," Juliette frowned, placing the worksheets out of sight. Though she'd gotten better at the subject since having a tutor, she still did not like Math very much at all.
Next, it was my turn to open presents. The purple dress that I'm wearing is what I received from my parents; isn't it pretty? The gift on my lap is from Juliette; what could it be?
I pulled out a white tank and red shorts edged in lace, the perfect summer outfit! I can't wait to wear this as the weather gets warmer. The shorts have tiny white polka dots on them and real, working pockets - I love them!
Nathalie had a gift from Rowena, a friend in Star Valley. She'd been shaking this gift for the past few days, anxious about what could be inside.
Chiara and Jessa had some small goodies in their stockings. Chiara got a new notebook that she'll probably use for school, nerd that she is. Jessa got a Yahtzee game! She's already challenged me to a game. (She'll probably win. I suck at games, but whatever.)
And that concluded our holiday party. We took a group photo and promptly headed to bed, as Juliette and I had to catch a flight home. The rest of the holiday pretty much sucked for us, as we spent it in the hospital hoping and praying that Grandpère would make a full recovery. He did make it through surgery, but he's still recovering in the hospital as I speak. I hope he is able to go home soon!
I hope you had a better holiday season than we did! In the comments, please tell me about your favorite Christmas or Hanukkah tradition of the year (or whatever you celebrate). What presents did you get?