Jolly Jerk

Early to bed and early to rise during the dark heart of winter means that Fern and I are up before the sun each morning. On this particular day the dawn brought a break in the clouds that have been blanketing the Bay with their quilty offering. Coffee in hand, I stepped outside with babe in arms to greet the solstice sunrise as the sky grew silvery grey. We watched the gulls and crows taking flight from their place of evening refuge, and as the sky brightened stepped back into the warmth of the kitchen where blueberry oatmeal was waiting. A few bites and then Fern pointed to the window, “Bye bye, bye bye” (which also means hello) and I looked up to see golden rays that I had almost missed. Out through the door again to see the grand display of a low southern sun, dousing the black storm clouds with glory.

This evening, full with dinner and cozy in jammies, Fern was ready to venture forth into the already deep night to visit the promise land. I had brought her there late last week with Cross-My-Hearts for her teary good-byes that we would be back again at night. Zipping up to 21st and Church st., the squealing began at first site. A megalithic, 3 story norfolk pine signals all approaching sleighs and reindeer with thousands of twinkling lights and ornaments bigger than my head.

Presents the size of VW bugs are piled high all around, while mechanized ferris wheels twirl and hum.

Fairy princess dolls dodge toy trains in glass displays.

Tom and Jerry (The residents. Really!) have the inside hook-up with Mr. Claus, and boast 15 ft. tall stockings filled to the brim.

What did she make of it all? She was utterly enchanted.

However, it didn’t take long for the squeals of delight to turn into confused chirps and overstimulated whinging.

(That double chin! Don’t you just want a little nibble?)

It was nothing a little candy cane couldn’t fix. Someone should give one to St. Nick, who looks like he would give anything to escape the notoriety of what has become a San Francisco tradition.

Ho ho ho! Best first (and maybe the last) Santa picture ever. We aren’t going to tell Fern that Santa is real, but will still be keeping his endearing character as an integral figure during the season. Good thing too, so when she looks at this photo in a few years she won’t get a complex because Santa doesn’t give a crap.

Then back home, jiggity jig, with more renditions of “The Night Before Christmas” (from my childhood)

and “The Tomten” (This is Fern’s favorite story right now, read all the way through each night with booble.)

And finally to the business of a long winter’s nap, with visions of sugarplums. Or the half of that candy cane that we couldn’t pry out of her sticky little hands.

Happy solstice.


6 thoughts on “Jolly Jerk

  1. I love love love that picture!!! Santa is not amused.

    No matter what you tell Fern about Santa he will still always seem magical, you know? Just don’t let her tell her friends he’s not real. No one wants to be the spoiler. ha!!

    When we went to see Santa this year Kate said, “I know he’s not the real Santa, mom. His arms are too hairy!” hahahahaaaaaaa

    1. you can tell kate that OF COURSE it’s not the real santa…he’s just a santa rep!

      and we totally plan on keeping the magic of santa claus…in the way that faeries and gnomes seem magical too. and yes to not letting her tell the other kids he’s not real…but hopefully it won’t feel like a “real” vs. “not real” issue. santa will seem real, but in a further removed kind of way. or at least that’s the goal. xoxo

  2. did you tell santa to make a bummer face like that?? if not, he is a horrible santa!!!

    we don’t act out santa. just sort-of. we’ve told them he’s not real…our instincts just told us to a few years ago. but we play with it still. i still talk like santa is coming, even though. it’s weird, but playful….!) i was just reading nourishing traditions, and i think i might finally start soaking our grains and nuts. do you soak your oatmeal? and i’m trying apple cider vinegar again. how is your?

    1. finally returning from our holiday “time-out” and eager to reply to You!

      haha, no, we didn’t tell santa to make that face. i think it was part apathy and part “the shtick” of doing this san francisco thing where santa comes and hangs out every night for 3 weeks…he’s one of the owners of the house and i think he probably has a love/hate relationship with the whole thing.

      we won’t act out santa either…i remember too well how devastated i was when i found out he wasn’t real. but we also don’t need it to be the stark opposite either. he’s an archetype, and one rich with history and the combined stories of many cultures, and on a collective consciousness level, he absolutely IS real. so he will be very alive in our hearts and fantasies.

      i don’t soak our oatmeal…if i soaked rolled oats, would they just get soggy? i had to toss the apple cider vinegar…i think i let it go too long, and there was also the fruit fly issue. i want to try again too! let me know how yours progresees. xoxo

  3. i got some mail today. some jolly sweetness, not jerkiness at all. i so hope there is a tomten out there with our chicken loves. how do we not have that book? how fun to get to discover it now!!

    so. my magic keys are hanging on the tree right now. it was late when i opened my envelope. i sat down with a glass of wine and myself on my big brown couch and felt so happy to have a padded envelope with my name on it from you. i took some essence and felt lucky…i smelled the face scrub and felt really happy and lucky. i realized i don’t even know what marjoram smells like. i’ve never used it in my life. what????

    thank you my love friend. i am really so grateful for you and as sad as it is that i can’t see you in person, that you aren’t my neighbor, i am really really grateful i at least get to connect with you like this. cuz like this is really very cool. so. much. LOVE! yay. your letter might have been my favorite part. i love letters.

    1. i’m so glad you liked your package. it was so much fun sending it out…and it drove me crazy (in a good way) wondering when it would get there! i just love you and are so grateful to connect with you in this magic way.

      also, we got your holiday photo card and your family is SOOOOO beautiful. just stunning. and your kids are all so elven….lovey love indeed!

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