Sorry for the lengthy delay in posting, folks! No, I haven’t gone into hiding. Though sometimes, I’d like to. From my endless daily list of chores & responsibilities, that is.
I blame the germs.
Since Thanksgiving, we’ve had a series of child illness- mainly in the form of a never-ending cold that swept through the younger set here. I’m talking endless- several trips to the pediatrician, too many boxes of Kleenex to count, oodles of nebulizer breathing treatments, saline drops, nose-boogie-sucking devices, etc. etc, So the few minutes of quote “mommy downtime” that would normally be devoted to posting dissolved like the fine mist of a… nebulizer treatment.
My normal responsibilities keep me busy until the last child is tucked into bed, but with Christmas rapidly descending upon us, my nights have been spent prowling the internet for the best (read: CHEAPEST) bargains on Christmas gifts, compiling lists, stocking online shopping carts, comparing prices, deleting items from online shopping carts, analyzing shipping costs, then restocking online shopping carts, and so on, and so on.
Being financially responsible is exhausting, yo.
And then… there’s the elf.
You know the one. The slightly creepy one…
Ok. So. Here’s the deal. In the past, we didn’t do the whole Santa thing with our kids. As Christians, we fretted over the idea of whether or not to do Santa, unsure if it was a fun, necessary part of Christmas, or a distraction. We decided not to, and our older three didn’t seem to mind. It was more of an unspoken thing, they didn’t ask, & we didn’t tell.
But then, #2 decided… “I like Santa anyway. Let’s leave cookies, just in case.”
Since then, we’ve evolved into leaving a plate of cookies, despite the fact that the older three were pretty sure Santa didn’t exist. But I got it- they loved the mystery and the magic of it. SO we continued to focus on Jesus being the reason for the season, while allowing them to enjoy their imagination.
Then the elf.
So the elf arrived this season, thanks to a family member who happened to have one that she thought we’d like. I was iffy- but spirited him into the house in a bag until I could decide.
Or, until #1 opened the “hidden” bag with an earth-shattering… “Whose is THIS???!”
And the cries of “ELLLLLLLFFFF!!!!” rang through the house.
Damn. To elf or not to elf?
#2’s joyful exclamation of, “Oh GOOD! Now we have an elf to love, just like my friends!” kinda swayed me.
Ok, elf. Let’s do it. So I unpacked him. And first, can I digress & say for a moment that, how disturbing is the packaging of this thing?? Behind the plastic, the elf is tethered to remain upright with his/her hands bound, and a wire twine around the neck as well. So as I quickly ripped him out of the box, he first appeared before my children hog-tied like a grisly kidnapping victim.
But I’m sick like that. So I told my gawking kids that it was necessary, so that he couldn’t escape his box prior to arriving.
(I bet you feel bad for my kids, huh? Well don’t. They loved that.)
So I did the whole reading-the-rule-book aloud thing. We discussed the no-touching rule. I glared at #1, before she said the words I knew she’d say,
#1: “I’m going to TOUCH him.”
#3: “Nooo! Then Mike McCandycane will LEAVE! And it will be YOUR fault, #1, & I’ll punch you!”
Note that, a: our elf was already named, and b: loyalty to the elf already superseded loyalty to siblings.
So the elf was placed, appropriately, on a shelf. And children were dispatched to bed.
Now I realize why an elf is a questionable thing to have. It’s not because it may muddle their thinking regarding Santa. Or because it may convince them to focus more on presents/behavior than the spiritual depth of Christmas. No. It’s because now, on top of everything else, the elf has to end up somewhere/do something,
So my penance for not practicing Santa all of these years is to basically play Santa every night, by waiting until children are settled in bed, then maneuvering this guy around the house.
I will say that his first night or two were precarious- he was almost banished by an alarmed #4, who immediately declared that he was NOT, under any circumstances, to sit on her bed, EVER. Or go in her room.
My sister’s immediate reaction? “Do eet! Put her on #4’s bed!!!!”
(Did I? No, I didn’t. But did I want to? Ohmigod, YES.)
So Mike McCandycane had to butter up #4, otherwise the tears and fear of him would’ve gotten him booted out of the house. Fortunately, Mr. McCandyCane’s a quick thinker, and know the way to #4’s heart is through… SUGAR. He left a lollipop for #4, and they’ve been BFF’s ever since.
So what else has his guy been up to?
…but all was quickly forgiven. Though I personally think he’s sloppy & has a questionable foot fetish, the line for pedicures was out the door!
So I’m not gonna lie, the elf has been more fun for me than the kids. And I love the fact that despite having him here, the kids still “get” our reason for celebrating. The first night after he arrived, I went upstairs to check on #4 and 5. In her sleep, #4 muttered,
“Jesus is stronger than the elf….”
Damn straight, kid. And I’m pretty sure Jesus would never TP our Christmas tree, OR take the last of our sugar. Just sayin’….Six Pack Mom