|I hear you're the guy what haz the toy access. Pay no mind to the baby,|
she's just a baby. She's not In The Know.
This past Saturday was the annual event that pretty much tops all other Chicago events for me: The Christkindlmarket in the Daley Plaza. That's right, the kitsch fest that contains every German ever to carve an ornament (and some of their Mexican and/or Ecuadorian compatriots with vendor stalls of their own- it's an equal opportunity kitsch fest) is the reason why I love Chicago so hard.
Yes, there's exceptional theatre here. Sure, our transit system is [generally] admirable. And absolutely, the tamale lady on my corner warrants her own spin-off show. But once a year, there exists a square wherein I can weep over miniature glass animals, force my children to be kind to Santa Claus, and drink mulled wine FROM A BOOT.
Now, some of you may recall how I am still recovering from the loss of my glass menagerie. It still stung, what with seeing my M.I.A. collection's brethren and sistren on full display for all of the shove-happy drunkards to poke and potentially break...but I was strong. For the children. (And I got a baby deer! And Nora chose a whale! And Zuzu quickly got a teddy bear! Because by the time we got to her choice, we were really in danger of being stampeded!)
But even though I haven't fully given up hope that I'll find my little glass guys in a shoe or something, I'm happy to be rebuilding my collection. Because I'm an obsessive eight year-old girl.
On a happier note, this was the year that Nora decided Santa was her friend. A good friend who brings her stuff. And all she had to do to get this prize was to be civil (and potentially cheerful- no promises) to the bearded guy. And sister, did she deliver! Unfortunately, (we found out later) Susannah was coming down with a slight cold and wasn't her usual, I Want To Hug The UPS Man self. But hey, one daughter beaming at Santa pretty much beats any other record we've ever set.
And that whole mulled wine in a boot thing? Yeah, it's still pretty much the greatest secular Christmas tradition ever.