It’s been a long December. I decided to write an essay with my students on top of a vocabulary writing quiz and a huge book project with my reading partner. Needless to say, it’s meant weekend after weekend full of revising and responding to essays and very little else. I couldn’t tell you the last time that I knit before today or even took a photo for that matter. Christmas break seemed like it would never, ever begin, but thankfully, Friday afternoon came and with it an 11 day break from school and a trip to Cambridge and Springfield, Ohio.

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Cambridge, Dave’s hometown, has always had its share of quirks. My hometown is quirky, but because it’s slightly larger, they tend to stay hidden. We come home for Christmas about every three years, and the last time we were here, the Dickens Village was in its infancy. I remember driving into Cambridge that first year of the Dickens Village and looking at Dave with a mixture of confusion and what-the-fuck. Since then, the folks in charge have had Dickens mannequins modeled on actual citizens and expanded the village. The “skin” has gotten better, but there’s still a heavy dose of mummyism going on. Every so often, you’ll find a mannequin posed on a park bench, and . . . well, what would you do? Exactly. Pose your entire family in scenes of horror. Because we’re sci-fi fans, I couldn’t get away from the fear that at any moment the mannequins might just come to life and suck out our souls. Still, the chance to share a few laughs with my family (and take a photo or two of Wills and Kate – they are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, after all) was worth that possibility.

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We topped off our evening with a stop by the Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Lights & Music Show, which was totally worth the wait. You can tune into the music and enjoy the light show from your car, but it’s much more fun to stand in the square and enjoy the show with all the other folks. Kids ran around and danced to “Rudolf the Reindeer.” Couples snuggled in the cold. A small child tasted whipped cream for the first time . . . and the second . . . and the third.

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Merry Christmas, from our family to you!

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