Sunday, December 12, 2004

Weekend with Niko
Maybe you have to have a kid to be reminded what Christmas is like for a child. This was the big weekend of holiday decorating for Niko and me, and we went pedal to the metal the whole way. It took several trips to ol' Zeller's Hardware downtown (we avoid Home Depot as much as possible), as well as stops at Target and Rite-Aid. The tree itself was picked out at a corner lot a few blocks from home. I spied a very nice five-footer, but Niko preferred the six. Six it was. A nice specimen, narrow but tight and with no gaps. We had a couple of boxes of ornaments -- more than enough, so we stuffed some snipped bottom branches into a vase and made an arrangement over by the TV, "which needed some Christmas by it," Niko said. Stringing the lights on the house was pretty wild. Niko was flipping out of his gourd with excitement. I just tried to go with the flow, so the arrangement really wasn't much of an arrangement, as arrangements go. In the end Niko pronounced it "definitely the most beautiful Christmas house ever," and I could hardly disagree. Today we did a little touching up (Zeller's and its $1.69 100-bulb light strings makes it pretty hard to say no to the lad), and also much cooking. We made Mardi Gras Chicken with Creamy Polenta, our favorite dish of all time. And we made Maple-Pecan Ice Cream. Niko was skeptical, noting the absence of chocolate in the recipe. But in the end, he waved his hand in the air as he downed a mouthful, his version of thumbs up.