Part I: Preschool Crafts
I signed up to be a "Gingerbread Helper" in Nathan's classroom on the day they were making gingerbread houses. It turned out there were a few different craft activities going on that day in the classroom.
Here's Nathan with his candy cane ornament made out of beads and a chenille stem. (Chenille stems are the craft supply formerly known as pipe cleaners, but I guess maybe the makers of pipe cleaners didn't want their product associated with tobacco use.)
Meanwhile, my first assignment was to help kids write letters to Santa by filling in the blanks of a form letter with the answers kids dictated.
Next I got moved over to the gingerbread house station. Doesn't Nathan look thrilled here?
Slightly better action shot:
Part II: Bass Pro Shops
I'd been meaning to get Nathan down to Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops for days. Bass Pro Shops is a great store, despite the fact that I'm not into hunting or fishing. (However, I could get into ice fishing. I totally see the appeal of sitting out in the middle of a peaceful frozen lake, drinking a huge thermos of coffee and having emotionally intimate conversations with your fishing buddy in that little hut thingy.)
But even though I'm not so much into the outdoorsy stuff, I like Bass Pro Shops because they have really cool displays, like the giant fish tank and the waterfall and the stuffed animals. Plus Nathan likes to climb on the boats and crawl in the tents and sit on the ATVs they have.
And at Christmas, Bass Pro has the best free Santa. You can take a free picture with him, do a little craft, and play with various toys they have set up. It's a great winter destination.
However, despite the fact that my main goals at Bass Pro were of a photo-taking nature, I failed to realize that my camera battery was dead when we went there. So these are all somewhat crappy cell phone photos.
Here's Nathan in front of the big fireplace they have in the entryway:
Somewhat whimsical photo in front of the big tree:
Here's the remote-control monster truck area:
Slot-car racing against some random kid who needs a haircut:
Look! It's the Red Ryder BB Gun that Ralphie wanted in A Christmas Story:
Aww, festive holiday traditions with a crossbow:
Aaaand ... now he wants a crossbow for Christmas. That's the price you pay for a free picture with Santa. (To be fair, the arrows have suction-cup tips.)
Here's our official photo with Santa, which was free, but I paid for the digital rights to display it here, all legal-like: