There were many lovely things about this Christmas but in my memory it will forever remain the year of the Fairy Plump.
Owen asked for a Blanche Neige ballet dress and red ballet shoes from Father Christmas. When we awoke on Christmas morning we had stockings in our bedroom. Owen ripped through his and then looked up disappointed, "Where is my préféré present?" he asked plaintively. I suggested we go upstairs and have a look under the tree. And indeed, Father Christmas had left more presents there. We began handing them round but each time Owen opened something that wasn't his dress his face fell. "But where is my préféré present?" Eventually I found him the right parcel which was unwrapped to squeals of delight. The dress was donned immediately and after that he gave most of his presents to me to open because he wasn't interested in anything else.
Properly attired with dress and ballet shoes Owen proceeded to regale us with his rendition of 'The Fairy Plump' (The Sugar Plum Fairy). Performances were quite strictly organized. Owen would begin by choosing a designated 'guard', whose job was to announce the performance, during which time Owen would hide under the table. It was seemingly imperative that the guard not applaud the performance at the end, this falling outside of his/her remit. Several guards were severely chastised (myself included) for failing to observe their terms of engagement. All audience members also had to maintain a strict silence during the dance, and those flouting this rule, even with appreciative ooohs and aaahs, received a stern glare or, in extreme cases, an angry 'chut!' And of course anyone who was not a 'guard' was encouraged to show their appreciation as Owen took his bow.
Here is a little video to give you a taster of the many, many, performances of The Fairy Plump that we
The kids received DVDs of The Royal Ballet's Nutcracker, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! and Cirque du Soleil's Quidam for Christmas. Having watched all three DVDs intently they declared that they were all very good but that Matilda's end of term circus show and Owen's version of the Fairy Plump were actually better. I think we may have gone a bit overboard on the praise and confidence building...
And if you're wondering where Nell was in all this, well she contentedly screeched and smiled her way through the mayhem.
That'll be me signing off for the year.
Happy 2014 to one and all!