Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas at three: unicorns, bunnies, princesses

The setting for my grandniece Emi's Christmas at our place in Dunbar. Her little chair sits right beside a blazing fire.

It's the first Christmas Emi has really understood about opening presents and the surprises that lurk inside.

Clearly, it's something she's happy to learn about.
Christmases can lose their zing after you’ve reached a certain age, when gifts can amount to a predictable round of pyjamas, books and sometimes. . .even kitchen appliances.

But when you’re three, if my grandniece Emi’s Christmas is any example, it’s a whole other world. There are unicorns that light up when petted. There are pink bunnies with sparkly necklaces that double as bracelets for your own little wrists. And there is gear to transform you into the princess you secretly know you are – chiffon-overlay nightwear with snowflake sparkles; shoes with blue-flashing heels, and silver-edged capes that flow behind you to mark your royal progress. Sometimes the adults – who for some reason start showering you with these exotic gifts at this time of year – can surprise you in other ways too.

 Here are some photos, taken by John unless otherwise noted, of Emi’s Christmas:

Emi shows me the unicorn, sent to her from Quebec by her Granny Betty. Petted in a certain way, it lights up and bursts into music. Emi was intrigued enough with her new toy to bring it over to Christmas dinner.

My friend Linda shows off the "blinged-out bunny" she knit and decorated for Emi, with Emi's penchant for sparkles in mind. Emi's first move was to take off the necklaces and give her parents two each to use as bracelets. 

After dinner, when Emi crawled around under the table, Linda gave her one of those surprises that a three-year-old doesn't expect.  Linda slipped down from her own chair and joined Emi on the floor. 

"I used to do the same thing when I was your age," Linda tells her. Emi is delighted. 

Emi and Linda have a little discussion on the floor.

Papa Etienne watches unperturbed as the little incident plays out. 

About a month ago, when I asked Emi's mom Aya what her daughter wanted for Christmas, the answer was unequivocal: "A cape," she said -- like the one worn by Emi's favourite character, Princess Elsa in the Disney movie Frozen. At the Disney store, the closest I could come was chiffon-overlay Frozen pyjamas, with a little detachable cape. Since it obligingly snowed before Christmas, I photographed Emi's gifts outside in keeping with the Frozen theme. 
This pair of Princess Elsa slippers, with heels that flash blue light, was Emi's consolation prize for the lack of the bigger cape I knew she wanted. They looked great in the snow in the back yard.

A  week before Christmas, I was in another toy store for another purpose altogether when I turned around and saw a hooded cape, edged with silver, staring at me. It's not a Disney product, but the colour was right. I was over the moon.

On Christmas Day, Emi's face shows she likes the sleepwear, which she insisted on trying on immediately.

But the cape, ah, the cape! She put it on and immediately stood in front of John to get herself photographed in it. 

Here she is, in full regalia. She's got on her new pyjamas with their little cape. Over top, she wears the big cape, which drags slightly on the floor. The princess shoes were a huge hit, even though they are way too big. Notice the rubber bands over the instep.
Emi at the Christmas tree, with the blue light on one heel flashing. The shoe lights are powered by batteries, which papa Etienne, observing his daughter calmly, will have to replace when they die. 


  1. What fun to watch Emi having so much fun with these delightful presents. I always thought girl presents were so much prettier than what boys seemed to like and they had the added advantage of not needing batteries...so I thought! Times have changed. What...no photos of Carol slaving in the kitchen?

  2. This is so magical!! What a beautiful little girl Emi is growing up to be. And those shoes... do they make them in my size?! Great finds!!