Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Shortcake got lots of presents and cards this year.  She made cinnamon rolls and bacon for breakfast, and Dorkwad made scrambled eggs.

They watched A Very Murray Christmas, which Shortcake had never seen (and was not too impressed with) and White Christmas, which Dorkwad had never seen (and was pleasantly surprised by).

Dorkwad's responses to White Christmas:

Beginning: "It's pretty alright.  It's not a bad movie."
Danny Kaye starts singing: *sigh* "I miss Bill Murray."
Minstrel song: *making flight noises with Lego Star Wars figure* pew pew pew
Finale: *takes a nap*

Later, Shortcake and Dorkwad are headed to see the new Star Wars movie.

(Don't worry, Shortcake and Dorkwad watched Miracle on 34th Street last night.  Oh, and baby Jesus made it into the Nativity, and the Wise Men continue their travels.  The Wise Men are currently in the fridge.)

And, to finish the season, here's Shortcake's very favorite Christmas item, the letter to Virginia O'Hanlon:

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
- See more at:

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve!  It was a Christmas miracle - there were two strawbosses.  Cider was kind enough to take Shortcake's Wednesday shift after closing on Tuesday, and then he took the 6am shift on Thursday and let Shortcake come in and tag along on Christmas Eve.

This is why Cider is the best.  (Freckles (the strawboss formerly known as Genie) is also the best.)

Patches turned the scheduling office into Krampusland, lorded over by General Krampus himself

Shortcake did manage to accomplish one thing - she changed the roll of toilet paper!  She had to rip open the box, figure out how to pop open the dispenser, put the roll on the pole, and close the dispenser.  Success!  The elves rejoiced!

 Teddy Bear and Shortcake

Two sets of friends visited Santa today.  Isla and Anderson have seen Santa many times before - Isla is used to going straight up to Santa.  She declared she wanted a playhouse with a slide (Shortcake thinks), but it would have to stay in the garage in the winter.  Anderson cried, but... He's that age.  Maybe next year.

Aria is a seven-year-old boy who had just flown in from Pasadena.  His grandma brought him to see Shortcake and Santa, but he was having a bad day.  Aria was convinced that he had been bad over the last two days, and he just couldn't face Santa.  Shortcake talked to him, told him Santa kept watch over the entire year, and two days was not enough to cancel out the whole year.  He met Noel and Peppermint Stick, and they gave him a hug.  But Aria was very upset and overwhelmed.  Shortcake told him he could come back any time that day, or send a letter to Santa, and she would make sure he got it.

This is not Aria's letter, but a card from someone who wanted to say "HI SANTA" and also wished for love.  We're not sure if his/her name is Princess Jasmine, or if he/she wants a Princess Jasmine.

Patches gave Shortcake a Believe pin (bling!  all the bling!), and Santa gave her a Christmas headband.  

(Cider wore his bling on a chain.  It was very Christmas gangsta.)

Ruby and Jim had different kinds of bling

And then.  Oh, the Christmas Eve drama, kiddies.  And THEN.  All of the computers went down in the Village.  The computers are connected to the cameras.  No pictures could be taken or saved.  Freeze Frame ran out of the house muttering "oh no."  And this happened at 2:30pm.  On Christmas Eve.  With a 3 hour line.  

The line stopped.  The village stopped.  Everything stopped.  

And then the computers were fixed.  Everyone breathed.

And then they broke.  Again.  The tension in the village was palpable.  Apparently, the line in the maze almost rioted.  

Meanwhile Shortcake is trying to make sure Santa gets a wee break while maintaining the magic of Christmas.

Thankfully, Freeze Frame got the system back up around 3pm.  And we got the line going, and all of Santaland has never worked so hard.  Everyone, including the visitors, was focused on moving quickly and efficiently.  We had a (growing) 3 hour line that closed in an hour and a store that closed in 3 hours.  We knew we had to get them in and back out.

So we did.  The last family entered the house at 6:03pm.  Santa did his final walk to the roof to get in his sleigh a few minutes later.

Oh, and remember the person who was cranky on Tuesday?  The person was still cranky.  This person literally did not talk to Shortcake all day. This was fine - Cider took care of the person, but then Cider had to leave.  And then it got real awkward.  It's hard to do a good job with someone who isn't talking.  The most frustrating part is how Shortcake reacted.  She knew not to take it personally.  She knew it wasn't her - White Flowers, elves, Ruby, even Santa, told her she was wonderful and generous and good at her job and had a sense of humor and efficient and all the good things.  But.  She let this person's behavior affect her behavior, when she knew she needed to be the bigger person, to respond with kindness.  And, somehow, she couldn't.  

Shortcake is going to try harder next year.

At the end of the day, Shortcake hugged everyone good-bye, declared "I love you," and wished them all a Merry Christmas.

And she headed out to meet her brother Dorkwad.  They drank caramel apple spice lattes, walked 5th Avenue looking at window displays, and took selfies.  Dorkwad, in fact, hated taking selfies.  He wasn't terribly fond of the windows either.  But that's what Christmas is.  Doing what your older sister tells you to because she's family.


Also, let's be a little concerned that Shortcake was comfortable in a sleeveless top, outside, on Christmas Eve.  In New York.  Climate change is a thing, people.  It's a thing, and we should be concerned about it.

  The Lord & Taylor windows are always one of Shortcake's favorites.

Another hated selfie in front of the NYPL lion

Saks Fifth Avenue deep sea diver - again, they usually have nice windows.  Shortcake and Dorkwad did not stay to watch the LED musical light display because, well, it was entirely too crowded.

They did take a selfie far away from the Rockefeller Center tree.

Shortcake has no idea what store this was, but it's a pretty zen garden.

Tiffany's windows are delicate and pretty.

Yeah, this is a repeat of the Bergdorf Goodman windows, but it's one of Shortcake's favorites, and it's so much easier to see how shiny it is when it's not raining.

And then they took the subway home to watch Miracle on 34th Street.  Which Dorkwad ignored.

Santa/Shortcake Photo Shoot

Shortcake took some time with Santa to take some selfies.

Wise Santa

 Side-eye Santa

Sassy Santa

Excited Santa

Blurry Santa

Concerned Santa

Excited Santa

Happy Santa

Squashed Santa

Winter Solstice

Tuesday, December 22 was a hard day for Shortcake.  It was another eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarly morning, but it wasn't quite as bad as the day before.  4am isn't quite so early when Shortcake goes to bed at 8pm.  8 hours of sleep is magical.

There was a lot of running around.  There were operational people observing how Santaland worked, so Shortcake explained the process of the Village and gave suggestions for making the backstage run more smoothly - like adding a utility sink, so Shortcake doesn't have to fill up water pitchers in the bathroom.  And then there were VIP visits and school groups and Santa forgot his glasses...  Oh, Shortcake sprinted on that one.

Someone at Santaland frustrated Shortcake.  It was a busy day, so lunches got shorter, and Shortcake spoke abruptly to some of the elves, and...  someone got cranky.  Shortcake doesn't remember doing anything particularly wrong, but...  Shortcake tried to rise above it.  Apparently, it still showed on her face, and Sprinkles gave her a hug.

Remember Figgy?

Momma Figgy and Mrs. Figgy came to visit Santa! Shortcake didn't have time to take a picture, but she did give them each a big hug.

Shortcake had to say goodbye to a lot of people, as she was not working Christmas Eve Eve and elves started to head back to the North Pole.  It was her last shift with Figgy and Licorice and Peppercorn.

Santa brought Shortcake roses.  They're so pretty!

Santa got a letter from Eva with a lovely drawing of a rainbow-winged pegasus unicorn.

Monday before Christmas

Monday, December 21 was an eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarly morning for Shortcake.  She was up at 4am, so she could be at Macy's at 6am.  Santa gets exclusive use of the sleigh this time of year, so she had to take the subway, and the subway is not the fastest, most reliable form of transportation at 5am.

And there was no line.  Santa and the elves were so bored.  We opened at 7am, and almost no one showed up until 9am.

As Santa said when Shortcake went to check on him, "Everything that could have gone wrong... did not go wrong."

That is an excellent philosophy to have.

Santa brought in a chocolate nutcracker to share with the elves.  Ruby got to smash it to pieces, so it could be easily shared.  It was very satisfying to crush it under the weight of her mighty hand.

The rest of the day was okay.  It was the last time Shortcake got to see Freckles (the strawboss formerly known as Genie), so she gave her a biiiiiiiig hug and all the Christmas wishes.

Oh!  And Shortcake's friends from elf college visited!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday, December 18, aka The Day The World Lost Its Mind Over Star Wars

A sad thing happened this week.  One of Santa's colleagues, what we call a Man in Red, died.  He had worked with Santa for five years, and when he didn't show up last week, we feared the worst.  They told all the elves on Thursday.  Cider was kind enough to call Shortcake to let her know.  Shortcake made sure to give all of the elves (and managers) a big hug on Friday.

Around that sadness, Santa still had some good things happen.  He got into the Star Wars spirit, tweeting spoilers for the movie:

R2-D2 and C3PO ride a tonton off a cliff #StarWarsSpoilers

Luke's hand absorbs radiation, dies, says it was and always will be Luke's friend.

Han tells Jabba the Hutt "no one puts Leia in a corner" (tks Shortcake!)
MaceWindu quotes Ezekiel 25:17 to Jango Fett at gunpoint but lets him leave Diner.

Luke angers the empire, wakes up with a Tonton head in his bed.

There is no Han Solo. He's a product of Luke Skywalker's split personality.

Han's ship is renamed Rosebud.

- the ghost of Obi Wan helps Luke shape a clay pot at a potters wheel from behind.
Chewbacca smothers lobotomized Hans Solo then tosses Sink thru window & runs away
Yoda sees dead people -- realizes he's been dead the whole time. #StarWarsSpoilers
Princess Leia's crazy eyed baby is really the son of Satan, living at The Dakota
C-3PO gets a heart, Chewbacca gets Courage, R2-D2 gets Brain, Leia gets new shoes & trip home
Han Solo gets Leia home. Gets her pants off. She's secretly a man.

Shortcake saw Fa La La (for, like, the first time all season), and they ran across the register room for a hug.  It was positively cinematic.

Someone proposed in front of Santa today!  It's the first one of the season, that Shortcake has heard about.  It was a man proposing to a woman (these things cannot be assumed), and she said yes.  Santa said it was the largest pink diamond he's ever seen.

And Cider and Ruby got married!  Well, sort of.  It was an unofficial ceremony, and Santa married them, elf to elf.  It was really quite lovely.

Lisa came to visit!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Jangles! Trinket!

We're up to Wednesday, December 16... Shortcake is catching up on her blogging.  Only two days behind!

Jangles worked!  Because he's crowd control, and Shortcake spends so much of her time in the Village, she doesn't get to see him much, even when he does work.  But they did get to snap this picture with Gingerbread.

And then, and then...  Joy of joys, Trinket came to visit!  YAY!

Peppercorn was having a rough day, and Shortcake was super sleepy by 2pm, so... they (and Gingersnap) had a dance party!  To this song.  Santa joined in for a bit.

And then, and then.  Krampus texted Shortcake to let her know he couldn't make it to an event.  This exchange happened:

KRAMPUS: I'm not going to make it back to go with Santa to Ronald Mc.  Please let him know.  Thanks. 
SHORTCAKE: Copy that.
SANTA: Your face is made of poop.  Poop.  Poop.  Boob poop.  Which is milk.  Boob poop.  Poop of the boob.
KRAMPUS: I know.  I'm sorry.

So Many Things Happened!

So many things happened on Tuesday, December 15!

Everyone had a cold.  Elves, Santa, Shortcake...  Sniffles and coughs and fevers abounded.

Shortcake wrote and mailed her letter to Santa.

Look at this watercolor a boy made for Santa!

We had school groups up the wazoo, so Santa was very busy all day.  He still had time to compliment Shortcake on her technical skills.  (Shortcake thinks this means that she is very good at Tetris.  This is a fact.  Shortcake is quite good at Tetris.)  

Santa had a bro house, featuring Little Star, Jinglesnaps and Dumpling.  Shortcake still has no answer to the question "What is the difference between a bro, a brah, and a bruh?"

Krampus sang "Oh where is my hairbrush" into the walkie after Shortcake turned a hairbrush into the Lost and Found.

Santa and Shortcake had a dance party in the middle of the day.

Dumpling was Shortcake's favorite elf because he got her hot water for tea.  Jinglesnaps was all jealous, but Shortcake pointed out he could be her favorite elf on the next day.

Santa told a story of how, when he was a wee lad of sixteen, he wove a scarf out of sheepdog hair.  He took the hair, spun it into yarn, and then wove a scarf.  Santa is a multi-faceted man.

Shortcake had Santa's help taking a Buzzfeed quiz, deciding which companion to the Doctor she would be.  Santa thought she would get Clara.  Shortcake thought she would get Donna.  She got Clara.  

And then Santa had Shortcake take a quiz that he made up on the spot.  And he told her that the Strawboss she would be was... Cider.  She asked what answers she would have to give to get Freckles (Genie, from here on out, shall be referred to as Freckles).  Or even, perhaps, Shortcake.  Santa said nothing.  She was going to get Cider.

Plates and Rock Lobsters

Monday, December 14 did not have an auspicious start.  Shortcake was just about to eat her delicious breakfast when the plate fell.  On her foot.  Breakfast went everywhere.  Luckily, the plate did not break.  Neither did Shortcake's foot.  The breakfast was... unsalvageable.  So, not only did Shortcake have a bruised and swollen foot, but she had to remake her breakfast.
The bruise got purpler as the day went on.

Perhaps because of the foot, perhaps because it was Monday, perhaps because Shortcake was short of seep (as usual), Shortcake was quite sassy that Monday.  She still managed to have a dance party with Biscuits, and she hugged Jangles and Snowball (for the first time all season!).  At the end of the day, she hugged Santa, and they both leaned on each other so heavily, they started melting towards the ground in a big pile of hug.  So, be not afraid, gentle readers, Santa gets his sass in too.  Sometimes Shortcake has to stay sassy just to hold her own.

Afterwards, Shortcake headed off to have dinner with her friends at the (very fancy) Plaza.  It's a holiday tradition.  She was early, so she looked at the Bergdorf Goodman windows, which are always excellent.  These are her two favorites this year:

When she arrived at the Plaza, she saw a sign.
If only she hadn't just come from working with him...

Shortcake had dinner with friends, and, while there, she colored in the turtle on the kids menu.  Because they don't let you color on the adults menu.  And the Plaza does not stint on their crayons.  These were brand-new, never-used, Crayola crayons.  This is the good stuff.

Rock Lobsters!

Penguins on the subway!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fruit & Cheese Day!

Last Friday, December 11, was Fruit and Cheese Day!

You may remember this tradition from years past.  In an effort to counteract the amount of cookies and chocolate that Shortcake eats, she designates one day as Fruit and Cheese day and brings in... Fruit and Cheese.

This year was a rousing success.  Santa had been stocking up for weeks.  Shortcake brought in the smoked gouda, and a smaller tray of French cheese and dried fruit.  Santa brought in pineapple and melon and crackers and a cheese tray, and Peppercorn brought in pineapple and berries.  Everything was delicious (Especially the smoked gouda.  And the cranberry goat cheese!  Every day should include goat cheese.  Nothing is quite so decadent as chevre.).

Unfortunately, it was very hot in Macy's.  With global warming being what it is, and 60 degrees days in December, and Macy's being a very old building with steam heat...  It can be hard for the building to adjust, and thus, Santa was very, very warm.  Peppercorn had the brilliant idea of bringing him ice packs, so he could put them on his neck to cool down between visits.

Santa had an interesting visit with a baby.  The baby wouldn't smile or look at the camera, so his parents gave him a snack.  The snack fell on the ground, and the baby looked down to stare at the snack.  So, Santa says "give me a snack" and Santa holds it out, then throws it towards the camera onto the ground.  Unfortunately, the baby did not follow the snack, or look at the camera.  Instead, the baby looked at Santa like "What?!  Why would you do that?!"  Santa, Sprinkles, and the parents all started laughing uproariously.

Peppercorn also brought her ukulele in!  Shortcake still has her ukulele (although she hasn't learned to play it well in two years), but she hasn't brought it in yet this year.  So she was very excited when Peppercorn brought hers in.