OK, I may be spectacularly late in posting the summary of the Taunting but my Terrible Tardiness is matched only by my Magnificent Single Mindedness - I just kept feeling like I couldn't move forward with anything else unless I could manage to finish this. It would be like admitting defeat in the face of things that kept happening in December. And then January. Things were beginning to threaten February too but I'm gonna show those pesky Things what's what.
Also, I realized that the holidays started for me in September and kept coming every single weekend until the first week of January. It was like an avalanche of Holidays. And when I got to the bottom of them I collapsed.
Whew. And now NEW holidays are happening - because time keeps moving forward. Which is, frankly, a little annoying. Things are happening for the big Hallmark Holiday coming up and it's not right to write about them without giving the last major holiday it's due.
So we left off (or more accurately I left you off) here.
Where I mentioned that since the Taunting had snuck up on me I didn't handle the display the way I usually did - so I did something else. Even more Tauntingly. It ended up that the makeshift wrapping system fit absolutely every present for every night. So I put all of the presents in two suitcases and every night before the candle lighting went upstairs wrapped the evenings clues . . .I mean presents into the scarves with the really cool paper that Uncommon Goods used instead of styrofoam and handed the tied scarves to the Children.
So every night sort of looked like some variation of this:
As you can see, the Poppets from Taunting 2008 were helping to supervise, and they were curious as to how a non-Poppet based taunting works.
So the First Candle had given the Girl recycled kimonos that held things together and the Boy got a timepiece that looked a bit like a spaceship had landed on his arm. It's in the link I put up above.
The Second Candle the Children both got bento boxes:
Bento boxes are magic, that's why the Tiny Wizard wanted to show them to you. The Ronin Panda is for the Girl and the "Lunch System Black Box" is for the Boy. The paper that is surrounding them is the wonderful un-styrofoam packing paper. Bentos end up being a really good way to keep your sandwiches from getting squished in your backpack. And you can pack salted cashews without having to use a lot of little ziplock baggies.
Using bento is green too.
You remember that there is always a theme right?
Third Candle came.
We lit the candles, sang the songs, and the Children opened their cheapass - I mean "green" wrapping on their gifts.
The Ninja is by the Nom Nom Nom insulated lunch bag, and Choco Poppet is by the Happy Bees lunch bag making sure that they each go to the right Child.
The Children were willing to hazard a guess that the themes had to do with food, but were slightly confused about how kimono based shoelaces fit in with that.
Fourth Candle came and then things changed up a bit - The Girl got a bag of Zen and the Boy got a Sonic Screwdriver and this really cool Tardis T-shirt.
Well neither of those things had anything to do with food. Now they were confused.
I should take this time to point out that one of the advantages Hanukah not having a Hanukah Fairy or anything similar means that when your Children are not quite childish anymore there is some room to maneuver. The Girl had wanted something that was artisan made and quite expensive and basically the equivalent of her entire Hanukah budget. So we obtained the artisan made thing for her with the understanding that it basically was her Hanukkah present - but you cannot stop the Taunting!
So she was Taunted regardless . . . which means she knew the gifts all led to something specific. And she started throwing out some ideas for the Boy's Theme, but wasn't willing to guess at hers. But gentle readers, you may start noticing a bit of a disparity in the gifts moving forward and I didn't want you to assume favoritism.
Fifth Candle - the Boy's gift is being shown by the Skeleton Who Wants to Run a Flower shop doing his impression of James Cameron.
It's a globe that floats - he's wanted a globe for some time.
The Girl got a handmade Peace bracelet made by Pammy J. So as you can see there are also nightly themes where their presents relate to each other and back to the bigger themes for each of them. So Fifth Candle was a gimme - It was World and Peace. Although the Poppets did point out that the Children hardly ever disagree with each other, but they didn't really seem like they could spread World Peace around.
I told the Poppets it was OK as long as they tried. And they managed to try it without using nuclear technology.
The Sixth Candle brought the Boy a Donegal Tweed hat with an Asian Dragon and the Girl got a Lucky Cat coin purse from Japan. Orange and Violet approved. They both figured that they weren't going to get it until Eight Candle at this point.
And on the Seventh Candle The Girl got a Djinn, trapped in a sweatshirt and the Boy got Time trapped in gears under glass. "But wait" you say. "Didn't he get a watch at the beginning of the Taunting". Why yes, yes he did. You see, we have all sorts of important milestones in out family for girls marked with a piece of real jewelry that can be kept or handed down to future generations. But there have been nothing BUT girls born into our family for four generations until the Boy. The jewelry given to the girls is to learn things about trust from your elders, taking care of things, learning the differences in material value and craftsmanship and maturity. We have markers for the first real ring, (usually engraved with an initial, that the child picks themselves at a real jewelry shop) when you can pierce your ears. (6th grade for me and the Girl - younger for my sister and my niece).
When the Girl turned 16 I gave her the gold necklace that my parents had given me on my 16th birthday. And when looking for the first sports watch I realized that there was no equivalent tradition or items for the Boy. Who was going to need a dress watch. So the First Candle was a sports Chronometer, but the Seventh Candle was a Sturhling Winchester Skeleton watch in Rose Gold. Because the Boy has excellent taste in Jewelry for others and he like to make things work.
It's a really cool watch.
And he also got a copy of Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius - 28 projects to build for yourself.
It's a great book, but some of the projects are actually illegal in some states, so build with caution.
And then finally it was The Eighth Candle - this is when the Big Presents are given.
The Girl's Eighth Candle was actually acquired in the summer, long before the negotiations over very expensive artisan made things. So all of the things she had received were actually the lead up to her receiving a Zen Poppet.
There are only 5.
I have one too, so we own 2/5 of all the Zen Poppets in the world. Someday I shall take a picture of them having tea together.
The Girl really needs some Zen, and Poppety Zen is the best kind of Zen.
The Boy has now reached the same height as me. I am not exactly short. And he has wanted a leather duster for a long time. I happen to have a leather duster. It hits us mid calf.
The thing the Children love about my duster is that it doesn't look fashionable, although it can be. It just looks like it's Mine. I've worn it to the desert, to the symphony, thrown it on the floor in open space rehearsals, worn it to Europe slept on it in tents in the rain. It's weathered. It's mine like the pointy hat is Elphaba's. It doesn't matter that they weren't originally made for us, once they were Ours there were no other defining characteristics. Oh that's the Witch's Hat. Oh that's Drinne's Leather Coat.
And ultimately, that's really what the Boy wanted for himself.
But my duster is black, and the Boy is not dark, and he is young. There are people who signify THINGS when they see young men in black leather dusters. And those are none of the THINGS that belong to the Boy. He is not interested in playing with other people's symbols.
So I found a vintage full length Dark Brown leather trenchcoat from London. Because it matters that it was long, not that it was black. and it looks smashing with the Donegal hat with the Asian Dragon and it has an inside chest pocket that is perfect for holding the Sonic Screwdriver. It's like it was meant to be. And now the Boy has exactly what he wants and doesn't look like anyone else.
I'm sure you've guessed the themes by now.
It only took about an hour for it to be His.
Which is the way it should be.
And that, finally, is the tale of the Taunting of 2009.
Better late than never.