Three days before Christmas, we decided to have a little sleepover with Q's cousin Victoria. We figured it was an excellent opportunity to make gingerbread from scratch, and bake far too many Christmas cookies.
Q discovered for the first time (we're not frequent cookie-bakers) the joys of eating heavily-sugared dough, and rubbing her face in the Hungarian high-altitude flour (zoom in for the flour dusting on her nose and eyebrows).
As you can see, we're of the school that likes to slather butter all over the baking pans, rather than using the spray-on shortening. What can I say? My grandmother was French, and she used butter in everything. Butter in copious quantities. Butter on top. Butter in the middle. Butter underneath. And yet...she was maddeningly slim her whole life. Go figure.
Right on cue, it began to snow just after dusk, and we all bundled up and piled into the car for a ride downtown to admire the lights.
We hadn't gone ten blocks before we came across this...
...someone's elaborate Holiday project. These people own two vintage firetrucks, which they apparently spend all their free time decorating, and then driving around the neighborhood during the Holidays.
I think they just do it for the pleasure of seeing the kids' faces light up...and oh, do they ever!
Q is now a brand spanking-new convert to the love of all things firetruck.
Downtown, we stopped into the tail end of the Sinterklaas festival for some assorted meats from various regions of Germany, Switzerland and Holland, and then a leisurely wander around the Christmas wonderland of the 16th Street mall.
In the last photo, you can see Q escaping into Forever 21, where she did a hotfoot circuit at top speed, burning linoleum and touching every faux-fur and sequin frock on the racks with her sticky little hands (mommy hot on her heels).
We took a bus ride up and down the pedestrian mall, searching (to no avail) for an available horse and carriage. At Christmastime, all the carriage horses wear their hooves painted in red glitter...which is pretty cool. But...no dice. Disappointed, we wandered listlessly into American Apparel, where the Q fell madly and vociferously in love with this ridiculously large, superbly shiny, pewter-hewed tote bag. Next to basketballs and bunnies, bags are Q's most favorite thing. She appears to have a propensity for alliteration.
Larimer Square, always a photo opportunity at this time of year.
Back at home, M. made gingerbread men from scratch using only his bare hands, a mixing bowl, and a tin sports-drink can (did I mention he's talented?), while Victoria and Q watched Mary Poppins and ate the spoils.
Q emulating Mary Poppins, and attempting to ascend to the ceiling using only a Chinese parasol. (Shortly after failing at that worthy endeavor, she attempted to ascend to the ceiling by laughing hysterically and at length. Which also did not work. Though, by all rights, it should have.)