Festivus for the rest of us!!

Christmas is just around the corner!  However, today is a very special day.  It’s Festivus!  What, you’ve never heard of Festivus?  Well, the girls and I will just have to tell you about it.

Several weeks ago, the girls here were discussing holiday plans.  All of the girls in the dollhouse will be spending Christmas break with their families.  Shivan will head to Pittsburgh.  She’s excited because one of the things she’s going to do while she is home is go see the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre perform “The Nutcracker”.  Not just because it’s a great show, but Trudy, one of Evil Twin’s gang, will be in it!  Last year she was in it, but was part of the crowd,  this year she actually has a named part.  Rebecca will be off to New York, she has already made plans with her family to go into downtown Manhattan to watch the ball drop on New Years Eve.  Kit is off to Cincinnati, she’s excited to see her brother.  Cassandra and Alya are off to Washington DC.  Alya is looking very forward to it as her dad’s assignment in Italy has finished and her parents will be there too.  They just found out that his next assignment will be in Galway, Ireland, so she’s had a million questions about Ireland for me since we’ve been there several times.  Marie-Grace will also be riding to Washington DC with Cass and Alya, her dad is going to meet her there like he did this summer and then they will continue on to New Orleans.  She really missed having Christmas with her dad last year, so she is looking forward to it.  Even Zara and Abby won’t be around as they are all heading to New Mexico (including their grandma that lives here) to spend the break with Grandma Davis.  The only ones that will still be here in the neighborhood will be Louisa (and she will be spending several days with her dad), Fiona and Kanani.  It’s going to be really quiet around here!

The six girls here in the house decided that they wanted to have a small celebration before they all left.  But they wanted something different.  No one was coming up with any ideas though, so they came and asked me if I had any.  “Well, you could always celebrate Festivus.”  None of them acted like they knew what I was talking about, then Rebecca started laughing and said “Oh, I know what you are talking about.  That was on an episode of Seinfeld.”  I told her that she was right and suggested that they go and find the episode called “The Strike”.

After they watched it, they thought it was a fantastic idea.  We did make some changes though because some of it seemed a bit harsh or rough, and they just wanted it to be fun.  I helped them with some of their ideas and we were all ready to go.

Traditionally Festivus is celebrated on December 23rd.  Because of schedules, we celebrated it on December 20th, it is a flexible holiday.  If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a faux holiday that was created by the father of one of the Seinfeld writers when he was a kid.  While he was a writer for the show, he happened to mention the whole thing and before he knew it, they had written an entire Seinfeld episode that revolved around it!  There were a few changes from the “original” Festivus, but still lots of fun.

First we needed a pole.  No Christmas tree, no decorations, “tinsel is distracting”.  I got busy and made the girls a pole that we could use as a centerpiece for the snack table.

festivus 1

 

The girls had exchanged names for gifts, so we started off with the gift exchange.  Exchanging of gifts is optional with Festivus, but the girls really wanted to do this.  I had taken them to the mall the week before so they could shop, I think they all did a good job picking out gifts and it’s obvious they know each other well.

festivus 2 festivus 3

Cassandra received a Dr. Who Tardis–it even lights up!

festivus 4 festivus 5

Alya received a book of Irish Blessings and Shivan received Star Wars models–the Millenium Falcon and two Tie Fighters.  If you look at the one on the table, it’s made to look like it’s been hit!

festivus 6 festivus 7

Kit got a Downton Abbey snowglobe and book, cool!  Marie-Grace got a bell with her birth month flower on it and a Harry Potter sticker book.

festivus 8

Rebecca received a bear from Build A Bear, isn’t it cute?!

In the Seinfeld version of Festivus, the first thing would have been the “airing of grievances”.  It’s supposed to be when each person has the opportunity to say something about someone else that has let them down.  We decided that might not be so nice, so we decided that they could say something that had nothing to do with anyone in the house, just something that irritated them.

festivus 10

Alya:  “Mrs. Thompson gives too much homework!”

Shivan:  “I wish they would quit serving spinach in the school lunch, it’s gross.”

Marie-Grace:  “If I have to hear Donald Trump on TV one more time, I’m going to scream!”

festivus 11

 

Rebecca:  “The guy in the KFC ad doesn’t look anything like the pictures of Colonel Sanders I’ve seen!”

Kit:  “I wish people would get their noses out of their cell phones and pay attention, drives me nuts!”

festivus 12

Cassandra:  “I’m not a fan of pink clothing.  Enough already!”

festivus 13

I thought they did pretty well with their grievances.  After that we ate snacks as we had already eaten lunch.  Rebecca made a gorgeous torte cake for everyone to enjoy, plus there were cookies and other snack foods.

festivus 9

Then it was time for the “Feats of Strength”.  In the Seinfeld version, that was a wrestling type match that didn’t end until the host/head of household had been pinned.  No one seemed to think that was a very good idea (me included!) so I suggested to them we do “Feats of Mental Strength”.  The girls liked that idea, so I came up with 10 questions for them to answer, and whoever got the most right was determined the winner.

  1.  Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?  (would you believe I had a friend who said “how am I supposed to know the answer to that?”)
  2. What is the symbol for gold in the Periodic Table of the Elements?
  3. In 1973, which company produced the first successful computer arcade game, Pong?
  4. This fictional character had an accident – he lost his seating on a lofty perch, and despite efforts by representatives of the local government, he could not be relieved of his injuries. Who was he?
  5. Which two people signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and later became U.S. Presidents?
  6. Who wrote “A Christmas Carol”?
  7. Which country has the largest per-capita chocolate consumption ?
  8. These two words differ in spelling by one letter: one means to influence, the other means to cause. What are the two words?
  9. Which two states form the entire western border of Minnesota?
  10. Around two hundred years ago, King George IV of England ordered a special pair of boots, which included what innovative feature, never before seen in a pair of shoes?

After the questions were finished, I gave them the answers and Rebecca was determined the winner with 8 right answers.  Good job Rebecca!!  Her prize was she didn’t have to help clean up after the party!

I told the girls I had one last feat of mental strength for them, and that the winner of this particular one got a prize too–they also didn’t have to help clean up the mess after the party!  I had a special video I wanted them to watch.  At the end, they had to figure out what was so unique about it.  After it was over, they all had a blank look on their face.  Except Alya.  “I think I know what it is!”  I told her to come over and whisper it into my ear.  And you know what?  THE GIRL WAS RIGHT!  “It’s a Festivus Miracle!”  Great job Alya, I will admit that I had to watch this several times to figure it out.  When I finally did, I thought it was one of the most genius things I have ever seen or heard.  Can you figure it out?  I’ll tell you the answer on Christmas day and if anyone else got it right (and no cheating by reading the comments!):

 

HAPPY FESTIVUS! FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US!

festivus 14

Want to learn more about Festivus?  Check out Festivus Web, the official Festivus Website!

 

 

And the answers to the questions, in case you were curious!   1.Ulysses S. Grant    2.AU  3. Atari   4.  Humpty Dumpty  5.  John Adams & Thomas Jefferson  6. Charles Dickens  7. Switzerland  8.  Affect/Effect  9. North & South Dakota  10. ONE FOR EACH FOOT – before that, shoes were all the same and worn on either foot

Skates!

Hi guys, it’s Rebecca!  I’ve really been looking forward to writing something here on the blog, and I’ve got something super exciting to share today!  I asked mom several months ago if I could take ice skating lessons.  She said she didn’t have a problem with it, but ice skates and lessons are very expensive.  We made a deal that if I saved my money and paid for my own skates, she would pay for my lessons.  I saved and saved and finally got enough money to get some skates.  Then Cassandra suggested I look on eBay for skates, great idea!!!  I found a pair that looked like they were in good shape, hardly used, and I won the auction, whooo hooo!  Today around lunch time I heard the UPS man out front and sure enough, my skates were here.  I’m so so excited, can you tell?!?!?!?!

I took the package up to my room and opened them up, they are in beautiful shape, even included a set of blade guards.  I’m all set now, I can’t wait until January when my lessons start.

Skates 1

After I was done admiring them, I took them across the hall to show Cassandra. She’s been in bed since last night, she got sick right after we got home from school, poor thing. NOT the way to start Christmas break! She is feeling a little better though, she felt good enough to eat some chicken noodle soup and drink some hot tea. She was very excited when I showed her my skates too, she had a big smile on her face. She is such a good friend, I’m so glad she was able to help me find these online.
Skates 2

Skates 3

Coconut doesn’t like the skates, she keeps wanting Cassandra to play with her and keeps bringing her toy, trying to climb in to bed with her. No Coconut! You’ll knock the soup over!
Skates 4

After I was done showing them to Cassandra (and Coconut), I took them downstairs. I really wanted to try them on and see if I could stand up, but when mom saw me putting them on she said “NOT on the hardwood floor!” Darn!! I did take them outside and left the blade guards on them. I could stand! But cement isn’t quite as much fun as ice. 😦

Skates 5
It’s unseasonably warm in Western Pennsylvania this week, I was able to run outside without a sweater even!

Mom said that when she was my age, she and her friends used to skate on a big pond across from her house. She said it was scary sometimes because it would make this roaring sound when things shifted, plus you couldn’t skate on it the whole winter if the weather got too warm. I’m glad there are ice rinks, sounds much safer to me!

Cassandra will be writing the next post after we have our Christmas celebration, as long as she’s feeling better. I just hope we all don’t catch what she has, yuck! Merry Christmas!