M played Bert the Cop in It's a Wonderful Life. I was able to catch two of the four performances, and they were great (don't you love high school plays?). Here he is with George and Ernie, checking out Violet's backside as she struts away across the stage:
Saturday, C and I and E and Z did the Christmas Bird Count. This is the third year in a row and the fourth year overall that we've had the same route in our area. The first time was many years BC (before children), and we both swear we saw snow buntings that year, but we haven't seen them since.
If you want to tag along in spirit, you can watch the video C made of our count:
Sunday, I helped out M's French trip with a bottle drive (lucky kid was at work and didn't have to help me) and then took him Christmas shopping after he got out of work. In the evening, friends came over for our traditional Hanukkah dinner of latkes, gingered beets, and homemade apple sauce. Per tradition, C made a Yule Log Menorah. I think this is the best one yet. Usually the menorah-yule-log gets tossed in the wood stove, but this year C threatened to hide this one and just pretend he made it new next year. I'm okay with that.
They didn't have gelt at the store where I usually buy it, so the kids made do with square chocolates in shiny wrappers. The change of shape didn't seem to slow down their dreidel playing (or chocolate eating) at all, and when the chocolates were gone, they played with nuts.
To infuse an educational element into our festivities, we watched The Rugrats Chanukkah special. It was silly but surprisingly informative and the big kids didn't complain about watching a cartoon.