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Monday, December 14, 2015

Help! There's An Elf on My Shelf!

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. 

Here's the problem: There are twenty-four days in December, and I'm on year four with this blessed Elf, which has required about one hundred fresh ideas

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!


Anne Marie Becker said...

Oh, I'm so glad I never started that particular tradition! LOL I have enough trouble filling the little boxes in our advent calendar with unique candies/toys (that fit in that darn box!) every night--in triplicate, since I have three kids.

How about Buddy takes a trip for a week and you have friends send pictures of what they're doing with Buddy, or steal pics from Pinterest, so that Buddy has a vacation. He's not watching the kids, anyway, right? :P Or, have one where Buddy's heading back to the North Pole to help Santa, never to be seen again. (And now I feel I'm being rather bah-humbuggish... LOL)

But I totally understand how losing someone can make you appreciate these traditions. I still have one kid who believes in the magic, and I'm going to enjoy that for as long as I can!

jean harrington said...

While I do have some traditions I could share, one of my favorite Christmas memories, and one I've told many times before, belongs to my mother. She once said that her German grandfather would light up a real tree with real candles. As children, she and her brothers could stare at the vision for 15 or 20 minutes, and then the lights would be carefully doused. Oh, and a bucket of water would be on stand-by, just in case! Merry Christmas, Julie, and all!

Elise Warner said...

What a delightful tradition. If everyone had a buddy, they'd never want to grow up.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Oh my, Julie... you are an object lesson if ever I saw one. :-) My favourite Christmas tradition involves the Christmas stockings (half of a pair of pantyhose) that would appear at the foot of our beds during the night before Christmas. Nothing better than feeling around in the dark, trying to guess what was in that infernally knotted stocking!

Good luck with the ideas, eh.

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Do you understand how brilliant the vacation idea is???? I'm so happy right now! Ahhh! Thank you!!

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

I love the shared traditions and input, you guys! Thank you!

Rita said...

Snort! Thanks for the giggles. Loved reading this.

Mia Kay said...

Ours is candy. We have this wonderful recipe that's been handed down - nougat made with condensed milk, powdered sugar, coconut and nuts, then dipped in chocolate. Christmas just isn't the same without that candy.

However, now that I've made it on my own ... it's a pain in the neck. :-)

Happy holidays!

~ Mia

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