What can I say? It's tradition. And much as it drives me bonkers to deal with Elf every night, I started it. Some people hate him. Personally, I think he's fun. We don't tell the kids he's watching or reporting anything to anyone. The book says that, but we don't even read the book anymore. We've taken Elf in our own direction. The direction where Mom is responsible for one more unnecessary task. Because that's what moms do. Because we love to see those toothless grins.
Around the time my youngest made it to preschool, the Elf on a Shelf was is full popularity mode, and I didn't want my kids to miss out. Everyone seemed to be making daily posts with pictures of the fun their family Elf was getting into. I loved it. My creative side wanted in on it. So, I ordered an Elf. I read the book to my kids, and I got started with gusto.
I'm ready to break Elf's leg, wrap it in a "cast" and give him a sign that says he was injured on his trip back from Santa's workshop and is shelf-bound for the rest of the year.I'm crying Uncle. My creativity is busted. I've done all the things. I've looted Pinterest, friends' feeds and websites in search of new ideas for the busy mom's Elf.
This year, I'm busier than ever, and the kids' expectations keep growing. They want more! What will Buddy (that's what I named our Elf) do tonight? That crazy guy! We can't wait! What will it be??
Well, that's a darn good question because I don't know. I'm in a semi-panic state. I want off Elf duty.
But that's not an option. I mean, it's Christmas. The season of love and magic, and there aren't many years left where my kids will care if the Elf arrived safely or died in a tragic North Pole avalanche. What can I do besides power through? I'm so blessed with friends and family and purpose. I've got purpose (and coffee) oozing from my pores. Who knows? Maybe the fond memories we make with Buddy will lead him to one of my children's homes one day, when they have kids of their own. Maybe this will be a silly little treat they share with their family and my legacy of love will live on in yet another way.
December is always bittersweet for me. It's a time of reflection and rededication. Making memories is so important in life. In the end, they're all we have. I learned this summer, in a devastating way, we aren't promised another year, holiday, or day with our loved ones. So, I'm (by me I mean Buddy) filling my kids' rooms with red and green balloons tonight, and I can't wait to see their bright smiles tomorrow. You're a pain in the backside, Buddy, but the looks on their faces are totally worth the trouble. I'd be crazy not to do anything I could to enjoy one more of these sweet smiles.
What about you? What are you doing this holiday season to make amazing memories? Do you have a tradition to share? Or something you did for your kids that you once hated, but now look back on with love? I'd love to hear!