It's mostly the same outfit, but with a few modifications. First, I've lost weight, so the coat fits much better. Secondly, I've eschewed the cap, which was too small for me, in favor of a holly wreath. Third, I've acquired the able assistance of an elf, namely annecathryn.
Both Lyondemere Yule and Wintermist Birthday Tournament happened yesterday (as did Calafia Winter Arts festival, but alas they opted out of a visit). I started out in Lyondemere, where there was a substantial showing of kids (3, up from just Jordan last year. Oh, and in case anyone remembers last year's episode, Jordan didn't cry!). Their Excellencies of Lyondemere wanted to make sure that my services were not underutilized, and filled my sack with presents for all the baronial officers, as well as their court, guard, and champions. It was a lot of fun, and divinite looked like she was taking lots of pictures. My only regret was that I was unable to stay for feast (smoked salmon and cream cheese appetizers! Oh fate, why must you mock me with Sir Jamal's cooking?) because I had to be on the road to Wintermist.
By the time I arrived in Bakersfield, it was 6:30, and the second course of the feast was already heading out of the kitchen. There was a bit of a mix-up, and the presents that were to be given out had not yet made it to the event, so I had some time to rest and get into character. Finally, the gifts arrived, I filled my sack, and walked into the stunningly dark feast hall. The room was only lit with Christmas lights and candles, so it was hard to see who was who and where, but apparantly the ambient light really picked up the gold in my gown, and made my beard glow, so that was fun. There were six children at the event, and all of them were very excited to see me.
After the initial gift-giving, I stuck around to talk with old friends from the Shire, which gave the children to interrogate me on the nature of Santa. It was a fun challenge to my improv skills, fielding questions such as "why does Santa work in the North Pole?" with "for starters, the rent is really low" and "how does Santa know we've been good or bad" with "you know how once your parents know something, all the adults do? That's because every parent is part of a worldwide parent network, and Santa is a part of it. They send him regular reports on your behaviour, as well as some of your interests; that's how he knows what you want for Christmas even if you don't send him a letter."
I've looked forward to this all year, and I can't wait for the next two weeks.
Next weekend: Gyldenholt Yule, and perhaps some pics.