Jingle Bells are here!

It’s time to celebrate the Holidays!

Come join us for some holiday fun

with

MS. BITS N’ BOBS @

MANHATTAN VILLAGE MALL, THIS THURSDAY,

DECEMBER 10TH @ 10:00 AM

AND

PAGES BOOKSTORE, MANHATTAN BEACH

THIS MONDAY,

DECEMBER 14TH @ 10:30 AM

Let’s jingle with jingle bracelets and jingle ornaments.

Here are our ingredients:

Pipe cleaners
Jingle Bells

2015-12-08 03.37.19Thread the jingle bells through the pipe cleaners.


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Create jingling candy cane ornaments.

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Or make a jingle bells wreath.

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Or a jingling bracelet.

May your Holiday Season be filled with joy and happiness

Love,

Ms. Bits N’ Bobs

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The Journey has Begun…

The Journey has begun…

The premiere Ms. Bits N’ Bobs theatre show has come and gone.

Without a hitch?  Mmmm?  Without any angst?  Nmm?  Fun to perform?  YES! YES! YES!

Blessed art thou, the Karate Sensei who told me that I should just go ahead and do my shows in his Karate Studio.  www.mbkarateandyoga.com He is also the guy who told me many years ago, “you do the best that you can do, with what you’ve got.”  This was when I was attempting to do karate kicks whilst holding two year old Olivia on one arm.  A crawling 9 month old Tallulah was trying to cling to my leg as I attempted to complete a Karate kick whilst avoiding kicking my son, Dash, with whom I was trying to bond and the only reason I had taken up Karate in the first place.

Ah those halcyon days… why did I ever think that those were the difficult times?  I must have sent out over 300-400 emails advertising these shows.  I approached all the very kind pre-school and elementary school principles and librarians, teachers and friends, who have provided so much encouragement and support over the last few years.  I handed out a few hundred flyers to people around my local school, including the all important local nanny network who hang out on the greenbelt close to my house.  All of this work and anxiety to merely sell 30 tickets per show.

Show #1… I sold 10 tickets!  Now on my behalf, it was the first weekend of baseball season and the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Still… only ten tickets!

I had known going into that Saturday morning, that perhaps I had some learning to do in the marketing department.  I was  still bummed that so few people were showing up to the premiere show.

Holy Flying Guacamole!  They were the greatest ten people to ever participate in a show.  We took on the challenge of going to the Land of Imagination with verve and vigor.  When we galloped into an alternative universe on our magical horses, we flew there through a splash of color and camaraderie with fairies, dragons, Cinderella and even a cannon that shot out kids.  We met Charlotte, the spider from Charlotte’s Web.  She joined the audience – we needed her, she made 11.  One of our kids could describe Hansel and Gretel’s house so clearly, that we were all salivating to try some of the sparkling gingerbread.  But we knew the witch was really inside waiting for her chance to jump us.  The kids could talk all kinds of animal languages, my favorite being the Human Language where the mom spoke Blah, Blah, Blah all day.

I feel invigorated and joyful that I had the chance to entertain and be entertained by those magical children.  The journey has begun with small but magical steps.  I look forward to Ms. Bits N’ Bobs – Take #2 this weekend.  Naturally, I would love to share the adventure with you.

The Magic?

I often have children ask me whether I am real?  More philosophically profound when addressed to me as a mother in my workout clothing,  more understandable when addressed to me as Ms. Bits N’ Bobs with my brightly colored cloak covered in toys.

I always struggle with the answer.  Some children want to believe in the magic all the way, and if I tell them its all just make-believe, the entire experience is lessened.  Others are afraid, that if Ms. Bits n’ Bobs is real, that puts everything else into question, as in “does that mean the big bad wolf really can come and get me?”

We are Jewish.  That is why I feel it is important to tell you about my first Christmas.  For reasons that belie my current parenting angst, when I was eight years old, on a chilly December morning, my parents put me on a plane by myself from Johannesburg to Capetown, so that I could spend a vacation with my step-grandmother, Granny ‘Nita.  The two hour plane ride was completely uneventful – I wasn’t kidnapped, didn’t open the emergency doors and dance on the wings (it was tempting) and it didn’t even occur to me to pretend to be a terrorist.  Ah innocent days.

Granny ‘Nita met me at the airport with a safe hug and a smile and drove me through the lilac, Jacquaranda tree-lined streets to my step-mother’s childhood home in Bellville – where the mulberry tree overlooked the swimming pool.  Over the next few days, hands purple from squishing fresh mulberries into my mouth, I swam off excess energy and played with the newborn puppies of the household.

Christmas was approaching, an event noticeable in our household for eliciting yawns as one of the most boring days of the year.  We certainly didn’t celebrate a “Christian” holiday and clearly all the other kids were too busy for play dates on this day.

However, Uncle S. had married a “Christian” and we were going to her family’s home on Christmas day.  I was certainly politely curious about Xmas trees, Santa, presents etc… but definitely as an outsider who did not participate in these rituals.  The other family was also Afrikaans speaking making the whole experience even more exotic.

As was Granny ‘Nita’s way, I went with her on all her shopping chores.  On this particular day, a few days before Christmas, I was to help her find a birthday gift for one of her bridge buddies grandchildren, who fascinatingly enough was around my age.

Now, you know, I was on my best behavior throughout this holiday and today I was so excited to actually be useful.  Up and down the glittering aisles of tinsel, Granny ‘Nita and I paraded – was she thinking of something expensive or less so?  Granny ‘Nita wasn’t sure – so I pointed out both kinds.  Was she close to this child?  Should it be a very personal gift?  Yes, Granny ‘Nita was really fond of this little girl.  Was she a girly girl or more of a tomboy?  “A little of both” Granny ‘Nita replied after serious thought.

We didn’t end up purchasing anything that day for the lucky girl.  I was quite jealous of her actually, except clearly Granny ‘Nita preferred me as I hadn’t even met this girl yet.  I hope that she liked the gifts that I had helped to choose.

Christmas day arrived as uneventful as always.  I helped feed the puppies – then off to the Christmas festivities in “Afrikaansland” we went.  In South Africa, it was mandatory to learn Afrikaans from Kindergarten upwards.  However, aged eight, I’d never heard a bunch of people who actually spoke this language as their native tongue.  I’d always just thought of the lesson as an especially useless part of the school day.

At the party, there were at least twenty kids and they were super friendly and welcoming to me – in Afrikaans.  I understood NOT a word.  I smiled politely.

Then Santa came out.  Not from the fireplace, but the door near it.  It was Uncle S. – I understood not to tell the secret, not even if I could have in Afrikaans.  But I did finally comprehend that it was Jewish men who all played Santa.  At least we played some role on Christmas day.  He carried, should I say dragged the biggest, furry, red sack I had ever seen.  I understood that the childrens’ gifts would be inside and stood aside so that my new found, exuberant, Afrikaans friends could enjoy their bounty.  I also understood that there would be no gifts for me as this was not my holiday – in the same way that when you go to someone else’s birthday party, it’s completely acceptable for that child to get gifts but not you.

For although Uncle S. had dressed the role of Santa, clearly the real Santa had dropped the gifts through the chimney that morning and in the same way that G-d spared the Children of Israel at Passover – Santa spared us by passing over our Chimney’s at Christmas.

So, imagine my surprise when Uncle S. “Santa” yells my name with some Afrikaans words sprinkled in, from across the room  The sea of jolly, smiling kids parts the way and gift upon gift… upon gift are piled upon me – yes, little Jewish me – from Santa!

Every single gift that I had so thoughtfully suggested to Granny ‘Nita for “that other girl” were oohed and aahed over by my new non-English speaking friends.  From a manicure set, to a beautiful doll, a paint set and a snow globe, I got the most gifts out of everyone.

I knew the gifts were from Granny ‘Nita.  Clearly, she did too.  But we both knew the gifts were officially from Santa.  When I asked her how I could say thank you, Granny ‘Nita just said “Keep the magic alive in your life”.

I still have the manicure set and Granny ‘Nita your magic lives on in my heart.