Amalia traveled from Manhattan to Yiaya and Papou’s home in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving, knowing that she’d have to cram some Christmas into the four-day weekend, because this year she and Mommy and Papi would be spending Christmas and New Year’s in Nicaragua with Abuela and family.
The first thing Amalia did when she got there was to play with the Santa’s village that Yiayia Nene had set up in the kitchen window.
The next thing was to bake pies with Yiayia. Amalia had specified that she wanted to make an orange pie and a pink pie. Yiayia interpreted that as a Pumpkin pie and a Cheesecake Raspberry Swirl pie. Amalia decorated with candy corn.
On Thanksgiving Day Amalia helped make whipped cream and kept a critical eye on the cooking of the bird. It looked pretty big to her—but this year, unlike last year, she weighed more than the turkey.
When it was time for Thanksgiving dinner, Amalia ate the grapes that garnished the bird as she posed for family photos.
When Papi handed her a drumstick, she attacked it with the gusto of Henry the Eighth, to the surprise of Yiayia Nene.
When she saw how fetching Tia Marina looked wearing the Turkey hat, Amalia elected to try it on herself.
After dinner she was reunited with the Christmas Mouse that sings “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.
She made a new friend—the Elf on the Shelf. She named him David.
Later Papi read her the book about the Elf. First rule is you can’t touch him or he’ll lose his magic. And if he squeals to Santa about your bad behavior, you may get banished to the naughty list.
Saturday was faux Christmas. Papi brought home a tree and Mommy and Tia Marina put the lights on.
Meanwhile Amalia read “The Night Before Christmas” to the Christmas mouse.
And she opened a whole lot of presents. Here she's asking "What's next?"
That day everybody got a piece of the (faux) New Year’s pita to find who had the lucky coin in their piece --to insure a year of good luck. It was in Papou’s piece but he gave the coin to Amalia.
That night Amalia made gingerbread cookies with Yiayia for decorating the next day. Amalia absolutely loves baking and shrieks with joy when the pies or cookies come out of the oven.
The next day, Sunday, Mommy’s friends came over and Amalia got to play and decorate cookies with their daughters, Natasha and Sophie.
She admired the decorated tree with Tia Marina.
Then she said good-bye and got in the car to drive back to her casita in Manhattan. The traffic was terrible and the trip took five hours. Amalia said she “wanted to go back to their house where there are people.” Then she threw up all over her car seat.
She can hardly wait for her Christmas in Nicaragua, where Santa will find her, thanks to Google maps and information from David the Elf.