Holiday Children’s Hour in Boston

When I originally proposed the idea of holding a Holiday Children’s Hour at the Boston condo, I was envisioning an early afternoon gathering of a few of my friends’ kids briefly stopping by for a quick hot-cocoa-sipping get-together that went no longer than sixty minutes, hence the aptly-named ‘Hour’ portion of this extravaganza. Suzie laughed at that timeframe, and in my heart I did too. Though the three-and-a-half hour duration it ended up running to was a bit beyond my worst imaginings, I was enjoying the company so much I didn’t mind in the least. It also helped that among the three children attending, there were three parents in attendance as well. That’s about the most perfect babysitting ratio: one parent per child, and no child gets left to be cared for by Alan.

The festivities began at around 3 PM, with a plate of shortbread cookies and a few letter-to-Santa writing kits to amend Suzie’s paper crafts. I had specifically request paper craft projects for the kids. What? I used to love paper crafts! Still do. And fortunately these imaginative folks did as well. (My niece and nephew are not nearly as patient or easily amused.)

Once the paper crafts neared the end of their occupation, we broke out a package of Christmas “crackers” – those wrapped toys that you pull apart to an explosion of string, some none-too-witty scrap of fortune, and a little toy.

This will be the last time I get to see Sophia and Alissa before they move to South Africa, and that was definitely a reason for the gathering. Before that, though, a few push-ups, because that’s what one does at a Holiday Children’s hour. Hey, we were making the rules up as we went along.

It’s much too soon to see whether this will be a tradition I carry on next year. Children grow up so quickly, and everything changes so much it’s difficult to count on a repeat performance of such magic. If it does happen to happen, it will no doubt look very different. Now I’m getting ahead of myself, which is the antithesis of this post, in which I was able to actually enjoy the holiday moment.

We ordered an early dinner of Thai food, because with three kids it’s easier to order in than command a large table at a restaurant. It’s also more fun. While I’m not about to run out and get a little of children myself, this particular Holiday Children’s Hour (or Three) was way more fun than I anticipated – and I haven’t ruled out a similar event next year.

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