Christmas windows

Our local department store unveiled its Christmas windows today.  Yes, I know!  It’s only mid-November.  But they’ve had their Christmas shop in full swing for a month or more already anyway.

Much is made of the great reveal.  There is a street party, a charity fundraiser, with entertainers, rides, balloons and face-painting.  We went down to have a look, and found the line for rides in the fire-engine only had one family in it.  We quickly signed up – Pearl offered to accompany Fainjin so I could stay back with Babess.  They rode around the block, then came back again.  Fainjin was holding the driver’s fire helmet – he’d been given it to “look after” because he had started crying.  I think he thought I’d sold him or something and he was being taken away.  He looked relieved when they arrived back, and even managed a grin.

Then we collected some balloons, and checked out the merry-go-round.  Pearl was desperately disappointed to see a sign saying “Children aged under 8 only”, even though she agreed with me that her feet would be dragging on the ground if she tried to sit on one of the horses.

To ease some of that pain, we went to the bouncy castle.  All three children shed shoes and socks, and Pearl and Fainjin leapt gleefully to join the kids already playing.  Babess looked up, assessed the situation, and climbed back into her stroller.  I replaced her shoes and socks, and we watched the older two bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce.  They had a ball.

Unfortunately, the castle was right behind the stage area, and we had arrived just as a band started up.  I have no idea what sort of music they were playing, but it wasn’t Christmas carols or children’s songs, and it was extremely loud.  I put my hands over Babess’ ears, afraid for her hearing, and felt my own eardrums rattle along with the drums.  I persuaded the children away after what felt like an eternity, and  tonight I still have sore ears.  It was a great shame, because the rest of the event looked very good.

We went around the corner to escape the noise, and found lots of other families “sheltering” there too.  We saw one or two windows revealed, but were all too tired from bouncing and the aural attack to hang around for the rest or even see Father Christmas arrive.  He’ll be in his grotto until Christmas Eve, we’ll probably pop in to say hi another day.

I think next year we might just give the party a miss.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

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