We had a lovely time decorating the lounge room. The kids do most of the work now, which is nice, as I can see Christmas traditions developing that they'll pass on to their families when they (eventually) have them. Jordan brought in the tree from the garage and he and Connor did much of the initial tree decorating. (As a side note... apparently I lovingly tell them every year! to put the larger ornaments at the bottom, and gradually decrease the size of them as they go up the tree. Well, there's no need to snap at me. It's important to have a balanced looking tree. At least I know they're taking heed of my words of wisdom.)
When the tree is going up I always have Christmas carols playing. For years it's been a hideously sweet children's choir with unnatural annunciation singing stuff, but this year we had a treat. Scott gave me my Christmas present early. Every year he makes a Christmas mix, and it's fantastic. I tell you, you haven't lived until you decorate a Christmas tree with Angela Lansbury belting out a song about needing a little Christmas. There's a few versions of Jingle Bells... one with Barbra Streisand on speed, while Lena Horne makes it sound like the sexiest song you've ever heard. (How did she do that?? ) There's also a cha-cha version...
"Jingle bells, jing-jing-jing jingle bells,
Jingle all the way CHA-CHA-CHA!!"
It's fabulous. The kids couldn't believe their ears. Jack kept grabbing the album covers (yes, Scott gave me two!) and shaking his head in disbelief. (None of them took the music off, though.) They now know that Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra are two of my Mum's favourite singers, and who could resist a rendition of "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer Mambo"? It was so much fun.
However, there's a cooking failure to report. Tonight is our faculty breakup at Scott's house, and I said I'd bring an apricot nectar cheesecake. Surely one of the most delectable things on the planet when it's made right. I was racing around after work doing a billion things at once and forgot to shake the tin of apricot nectar before I poured it into the cheesecake mix. I didn't realise until I was pouring what was left in the tin into a container to make the topping this morning. Suddenly rich, orange nectar was glolloping out of the tin, unlike the thin watery nectar I'd used. I tried the cheesecake this morning, and all I could taste was cheese with just the slightest hint of apricot. I feel like such a twit. I'll finish it off this morning but this'll be one for the kids. The Cheesecake shop will be making a sale later on today. There's no way I'm taking a near tasteless cheesecake to a gathering where there's so many great cooks. I'm annoyed with myself though, because this is one thing I really make well. When I've got my mind on the job, I guess.