Instead, we had a stand-in for her:
The handmade almost-life-size Father Christmas she had to leave behind in Houston. He's been living in my retreat attic for 6 months and was demanding some time out for good behavior.
As you can see, he started off by sharing a glass of bubbly with us, then decided he just had to accompany us on our field trip to the new quilt shop in town, Quilters' Crossing.
After some coaxing we got that bottle of wine away from him with the promise that he could have it back if he behaved well on the excursion.
Couldn't get him to let loose of that wine glass, though.
He took right to the whole idea of fabric shopping and, after checking out everything they had to offer, dove right in!
He had poor Mandy cutting yard after yard of all my - I mean his - favorites!
Looking out onto the courtyard garden, he spied the other building which houses the shop's classroom, and he insisted that he get to see everything. (He wasn't at all sure when he'd be let out of the attic again!)
Mandy coaxed him away from the window and agreed to give him the deluxe tour.
Being just a tad over-dressed for July in Texas, he stopped to rest by the lamp post with a cute redhead who was walking by. He offered her a sip from his glass, but she, being a Cosmo-girl, turned him down.
Cutting his losses, he continued on into the classroom where he immediately made himself at home with the shop's sewing machine. Nice work on that quilt, Santa!He absolutely loved the ironing board cover that Deb made, but decided against doing any pressing as he was concerned about his beard.As the Troublemakers left the shop, Father Christmas became a little woozy. He claimed it was the heat, but we'd already seen him down several glasses of the bubbly. By the time we got to the car, he was 3 sheets to the wind and collapsed in the back of the Mini, spilling the remainder of his wine all over himself.
He had to be carried into the retreat where he retired to the attic in shame. If he's learned his lesson, I might let him out tomorrow!We love you and miss you, Shirley, and wish you were here! Especially since we know you wouldn't get hammered like your stand-in did!