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  • Christmas Miracle, or UFO?

    Tales from a wild Christmas week… Or living proof that a UFO has invaded my family,

    • Nicholas, Emma, and I walked 7 miles through the streets of New York three days before Christmas — and didn’t buy a single thing except food.

    • Ben joined us on the way home for his first trip to Virginia since Labor Day, and played a non-show tune song on his laptop that everyone actually enjoyed (“Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine).

    • Donny Osmond judged the door decorating contest at "Billy Elliot" and had a picture taken with the boys, including Ben. Emma decided to wait outside the stage door to meet him — in 20 degree weather with a 30 mph wind chill. After much teen drama trauma, my determined little girl and her slightly frozen oldest brother met Jill's first crush in person — and had him sign a photo that we gave to her at Christmas.

    • We DID NOT go to Disney World this year because, fortunately, Frosty Follies “stayed here.”

    • All four children bought presents for each other and for us, with their own money.

    • The state of Delaware was not under construction at midnight on Christmas Eve.

    • Emma, normally the child we can’t manage to please on major event days, hugged me and said it was “the best Christmas ever.” This came two weeks to the day of “the best birthday ever.” I thought all 13-year-olds were supposed to be moody.

    • We did not learn that Ben is in a show that’s closing in two weeks.

    • Nicholas talked to Donny briefly — he was, after all, getting ready to run down the sidewalk — about the roles they shared in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Donny asked if Nicholas hit the high note in "Close Every Door." My son's "Yup" answer received a thumbs up — a nice gesture from someone who must have felt like he was being stalked.

    • The threatened “Snowpocolypse 2” suffered the fate of many sequels — a whole lot of wind signifying nothing (except wind) — and left meteorologists scratching their heads (or other body parts).

    • All they had to do, in my opinion, was put a GPS device on Jill. Last year, she was in Virginia for the blizzard. This year, the day after taking Ben back for a Christmas night show, New York was struck by a record one-day snowfall (20 inches). Must have something to do with the fact that she’s from the North Carolina mountains.

    • Nicholas, after a relaxed and relatively peaceful (for us) week, managed to get back to North Carolina with only an hour delay despite a flight cancellation.

    • In the course of a single day, my lovely wife helped a new mom — a mutual friend who reached out to us — bring her baby girl home from the hospital, took in two of her stranded cousins off the street, and managed to deliver Ben safely to “Billy Elliot.” And it was all during a blizzard — mostly on foot. Amazing…

    • Kate and Emma spent two hours shopping together in a mall while I held court in the food area — and they managed to get along. (Or, to quote Emma, “That actually wasn’t half bad. I sort of enjoyed it.”)

    Yes, Virginia meteorolgists (and others), there is a Santa Claus. Of course, this could change tomorrow when I drive with the girls to New York, but for now, things are good.