Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Josiah: Advent Wreath Snow

Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent, and we needed an advent wreath. Mom says we have one back home, but didn’t bring it with us. She thought it would be fun to make one. Mom found some packing foam, being discarded by the local pub, and invited Naomi and me to come looking for greenery with her.

We’d seen lots of holly and ivy while on our walks, but we couldn’t remember precisely where. Unfortunately Sunday was rainy and cold so we bundled up in jumpers, waterproofs, wellies and brellies (sweaters, rain-jackets, rain-boots, and umbrellas). I love walking in the rain. Mom lets me splash in puddles when I’m wearing my boots and it’s such fun! I also like holding my own umbrella. I spin it around and feel so grown-up.

We had only walked a couple minutes when we spotted some holly. I asked Mom if it was prickly, and she said, “No, its leaves just look pointy.” Ha! She reached out to cut some off and yelped! I guess she’d never actually touched holly before. Hearing her say “Ouch!” convinced me I didn’t want to have any part in this greenery-gathering. I stood off by myself, playing with my umbrella (which can also be a good sword!), while Mom and Naomi cut off bits of holly and pine. We headed home, the girls now with very cold fingers because they’d been handling wet plants, and collected some ivy and berries on the way.

Mom made some yummy wassail to warm us up and put on Christmas music. I love music! She’s been teaching us the words to “Joy to the World,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” and “Silent Night.” I think the first line of “Joy to the World” should be “Joy to the Lord, the Lord has come,” but she’s trying to convince me otherwise.

Then she put the foam on a pan and started cutting it in a circle. Do you know what happens to white packing foam when you cut it? Yes! It breaks off into little, itsy-bitsy crumbs of white. I was inspired, as you might imagine. There are few things more fun to me than turning big things into miniscule pieces (using scissors or my hands!). So once the wreath shape was cut out, I abandoned the whole project, letting Naomi and Mom stick the leaves and candles onto it. I had a much grander idea: filling our dining room with “snow.”

I took a leftover piece of foam and began rubbing it with my fingers. Bits broke off and when I blew them, “snow” flew into the air. Mom saw what I was doing, but said it was fine since she’d already begun making a similar mess while cutting the foam. She also thought that we could just easily vacuum it all up after I’d gotten my fill of tearing things up. Oh boy! License to make a mess!!! Just what I’ve always wanted.

I worked hard at my snow, and when Naomi had finished with the wreath, she decided to join me. Then Ethan woke up from his nap, and he joined in too! Three of us making white crumbs all over the dining room! When the floor was covered and we were getting crumbs in the hallway, living room and stairs, too, Mom had had enough. She knew Daddy wouldn’t be happy if he saw the mess. She told us to vacuum it all up before dinner.

That was more easily said than done. For one thing, our vacuum cleaner is very hard to push, so Naomi and I both tired out quickly. For another thing, there is a fan blowing air out, which created little eddies of swirling foam wherever Mom tried to hoover. And finally, our vacuum cleaner has a canister that needs to be emptied manually (instead of bags) and it’s pretty darn small. I kind of forgot how much space all the bits of foam would take up once they were put in once place again. Mom was not too happy about emptying the canister over and over again (though Naomi thought it was fun!)

I had been sad when Mom said we needed to clean up the snow and I’d insisted that we would do this again someday. “Maybe snow on every holiday,” I’d said. “Easter, 4th of July…” But after spending 45 minutes cleaning it all up, I started to have second thoughts. And Mom was adamant: “Never again!!”

At least I did it once. Not every kid can say that.

No comments: