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Christmas Magic

Christmas Magic

December 28th, 2007  · stk

Alex gets a visit from Santa. Video of Alex's excitement & joy from a personal visit from Santa (courtesy of the North Cedar Fire Hall). Engine 1 arrives with lights & sirens, then Santa climbs down, with a gift for one very excited little girl! (A bit of Christmas magic)

Alex 'n Santa - Christmas Magic

The Oop turned four years old in October and she is fully into the swing and spirit of Christmas. It was a special holiday for us and the guys at the North Cedar Fire Hall made it even more so with a bit of Christmas magic.

First, Oop and Dad joined the other volunteer firefighters and their families for an old-fashioned hay ride, through town, on Sunday night. Candy canes, hot chocolate, music and lights made for a festive, although chilly, trip.

Then came Christmas eve.

And Santa Claus!


Christmas Magic: Santa Visits Alex

Engine 1 blared it's horn and wailed the sirens at the head of the long driveway. With flashing lights, it lumbered down the hill, toward the house. When it pulled up front, doors opened and who should get out? A couple of fire fighters and Santa Claus himself!

Oop was up in her room, when the truck pulled in. We called out to her, "Come downstairs Alex, hurry ... there's someone here to see you!" (We had been anticipating Santa's arrival all day and eager to watch Alex's reaction).

She didn't disappoint, but it took her a while to get downstairs. Dad was so busy snapping pictures that he missed some of the good, early video action.

Alex is no stranger to fire trucks, so she took the whole flashing lights thing in stride ... that is, until she spotted Santa!

"Santa!" she screamed, jumping up and down on the couch, "Santa!"

Afraid, perhaps, that the big guy was going to pass her up, she screamed, "Santa, I in here!"

The video starts at this point and you can see Alex's excitement with the personal visit from Jolly Saint Nick. She quickly and eagerly affirms that she's been a "good girl", nabs a (previously dropped off) gift and then promptly runs behind a chair.

(I'm not sure if she had intended to put it with the other gifts, under the tree or if she's just plain nervous).

The video leaves off there, but after prompting by Mom, Alex returned and gives Santa a big happy hug, then offers everyone some homemade chocolate chip cookies (baked just for the occassion). They were appreciated by all.

Santa's visit was the highlight of our holiday and Alex's excitement and awe rekindles belief in Christmas magic!


Christmas Day (Who dimmed the lights?)

Thankfully, Alex didn't wake up at the crack of dawn, like she usually does. I was fully anticipating starting the day very, very early. She did wake early, at 5:30 AM, but it was with a coughing fit, not a fit of desire. After coaxing her into going back to sleep, she managed to catch shut-eye till about 8 AM. It was then that our Christmas morning began in earnest.

We stoked the fire, grabbed a tangerine and sat down in the living room to open wrapped gifts from our stocking (ones left by "Santa"). There was even the remnants of chocolate chip cookies and an emtpy glass of milk. The crumbs were either evidence that Saint Nick had stopped by (yet again), or that Dad likes chocolate chip cookies and had a midnight stroll into the living room.

Alex got a lot of dollar store crafts and other items. She's not at the designer-label age and frankly, we're trying to downplay the whole thing, in favor of 'value'. She seemed quite pleased with the array of stickers, hair clips, headbands, art projects and other sundry items. She even got a bit of chocolate and other candies.

We stopped for a bacon and egg breakfast, then returned, after doing dishes, to open the gifts under the tree. Of course, Alex made out like a bandit, being lavishly smothered with gifts from all angles, aunts and grandparents. Her big gift (from us) was a $30 digital camera (640x480 Little Tikes) camera. She'd been asking for one for a while and we thought it would be interesting to see her 'perspective' on things blurry mom From what we've seen so far, everything she sees is BLURRY! It's mainly because it's the middle of a grey B.C. winter and most of her pictures require a flash. There's a delay between pressing the shutter button & picture capture. The delay is longer than the attention span of our 4-year-old. She's generally in search of her next subject, about the time that the flash goes off and the picture is taken. :p Some "feedback" will be required, before she gets the hang of it. On the plus side, the camera does have a flash and even a digital viewfinder in the back, as well as optical viewfinders left and right. We'll post some of her artistic shots! .

Grandparents gave her clothes and a bit of the green stuff (that's 'yank' for money, for all the people who are used to multi-colored currency). Special friends Tom & Sheila, in California, lavished Alex with money of a different kind (foil-wrapped chocolate), as well as "Bedtime Stories for 4-Year-Olds" and an amazing page-pop-up book. (You guys rock!)

As Christmas morning turned into Christmas afternoon, we wrapped up our un-wrapping ... sounds weird, eh? (wrapped up our un-wrapping! Just the kind of thing that makes English so weird to learn, I suppose.)

Anyhoo ... we were just about ready to pack our bags and hop the ferry to Vancouver, for a visit with Rachel's folks ... when suddenly, the lights dimmed. It was weird. Something electrical was happening, but we had no idea WHAT. The light in the fish tank went out, lights in the downstairs bath went dim, some things (like the kitchen floursecent lights) didn't work at all. We checked the breaker panel and it looked fine. No breakers were tripped.

What the heck was going on?

Scott took a trip out to the "hydro house hydro house Interesting Note: Canada gets most of its electricity from falling or running water. In 2004, Canada was the top hydro-electrical producer in the world. Over 75% of the electricity in British Columbia comes from hydro-electricity. Compare this with the United States, where hydro-electricity makes up less than 7% of the nation's generating capacity. Most is from coal (50%) and nuclear power (20%).  ;) No small wonder why in B.C. "hydro" is slang for "electricity". In order to bring electicity onto the property, it must be connected to a 'building'. Since the previous owners were building their own home and it wasn't constructed yet, they built this little shed (which looks an awful lot like an out-house), and which we now call, the 'hydro house'. ". The interior had the unmistakeable and acrid smell of "burnt electrics". It didn't take long to see that one of the 100-amp fuses had burnt out (along with the metal retaining sleeve). In a word, the main electric switch to the house had burned up.

On Christmas day. :| (Like calling out an electrician or obtaining parts is even a remote possibility). :(

The rest of the day was spent trying to figure out what circuits were still usable (and they included such notables as the upstairs jacuzzi bath tub - which we never use - and the 'freezer', wherever THAT plug is located). Of course, the hot water heater and oven/range were hooped, primarily because they're all 240 volts and require BOTH 100-amp fuses.

Tickling the back of our minds was "was there some kind of dead short that caused the melt-down?" If so, what circuit might have caused it? Did a squirrel gnaw through a some wire? Was the possibility of fire real or imagined?

Rachel went ahead with the Oop, to Vancouver, whilst Scott stayed behind to fix the mess and be around in case something weird happened. (He wasn't too keen on leaving the house unattended).

Oh, and before you ask - we're not the kind to have a Las Vegas style Christmas light display, so that wasn't the problem.


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Updated: 30-Dec-2007
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1.flag Gary Comment
Sounds like Christmas eve and Christmas Day was a magical time at Randsco towers.

Alex sure looked excited when Santa came. Its a magical moment for children, isn't it ?

A digital Camera heh ! sounds like has just employed another photographer (step aside Mum and Dad) it won't be long before she is teaching you CSS tricks and running the blog for you ;)

Enjoy the rest of Christmas and all the very best for a Happy New Year to you all.


2.flag Karen Comment
Oh, my gosh, does that bring back a lot of memories when the boys were little and Santa came to see us Christmas Eve.
I'm sure this is a Christmas she will never forget!
3.flag stk Comment
Gz - "Randsco towers", I like that. (Was magical till the electrics burnt up).

Aunt Karen? - I think Alex had a pretty good Christmas! It was sure fun to share it with her. Hope you're having a great holiday!!
4.flag Gary Comment
OMG, you were not trying to cook your turkey with a hair-dryer were you and tripped the electrics ? ;)

5.flag stk Comment
LOL ... not unless you can do that whilst sitting on the "throne". :p
6.flag Gary Comment
Gosh that was a nasty thing to happen Christmas Day.

Did you manage to repair it yourself or did you have to get a pro. in to do the job ?

Were the fish alright ? are they Tropical fish or coldwater ? If they were Tropical then they would of suffered without the power on and their heater warming the aquarium.

Here's fingers crossed that all goes well in 2008.

All the best