papa noel lot

Ever since I have lived in Austin, the tall Christmas tree standing decorated by the stairs had been from the Papa Noel's tree lot. Today was no exception. We drove to the Lakeline lot intent on getting the perfect tree. However, the place was nearly empty. It was the first thing the children noticed.

The Christmas holidays arrive earlier each year. I remember a time when people used to wait until one or two weeks before Christmas in order to purchase and decorate a tree. We were lucky today to have found a tree at all and Christmas is a mere week away. I overheard the worker tell another customers they had only short trees left at all of their Austin lots. Mostly four to five feet tall. The one I bought was slightly taller than me - which is not tall to begin with, but is all I can manage to carry by myself.

Being the last day of school meant the last party of the year. Sage's party started at 9am and lasted an hour. There were four activities planned for the duration. Pete the cat was the first project the kindergarteners did today. Sage kept looking up on the board at the sample cat and trying to figure out what to do with the various pieces of the cat in front of him. He did such a good job with his cat that the lady in charge of the activity mistook his cat for her sample cat. Thankfully I located his cat before I left as it was to be one of the ornaments on our tree.

sage and pete the cat
pete the cat by sage

Cinnamon's party was next. The first of the four stations at the Christmas party was bingo. She won two out of three games played.

cinnamon bingo

Decorating a foam gingerbread house with stickers was next, followed by cookie decorating (and eating, in Cinnamon's case), and a guessing game. The gift book exchange was saved for the end of the party. 'I already have this book' she exclaimed as she unwrapped her gift. It was The Cat in the Hat. I told her she can keep that copy at Papa's house since we already had the one we purchased when Saffron was born at my place.

foam gingerbread house

With the school parties completed for the year, decorating the Christmas tree is the next project for the coming weekend. Cinnamon and Sage will be leaving tomorrow, spending the week with their Papa. In the meantime, I will put lights on the tree and attempt to make the place Christmassy by the time they return on Thursday night.

the two by papa noels
seena running to van