Thursday, November 21, 2013

elf on the shelf

Last week my neighbor Jeni posted this Elf on the Shelf calendar to help to remind herself to move her Elf around.

I immediately went into spasms.  Of terror.  Of guilt.  All those feelings that parents get when they realize that they forgot to do something.

The calendar of guilt......
This is my response:

  • Kim Turner So glad that we didn't do this. I can see it now - about 12/14 the kids would get an official letter stating that their elf had fallen off the Wagon (again) and would be spending the rest of the holidays at Betty Ford....

Except that I don't think that we would've lasted until Dec 14th.  Certainly our Elf would've had a tragic beagle or cat or even ferret related accident well before he had a chance to break into the good Scotch.

As a parent consistency was not my strong point.  I mean the kids were clean and fed and clothed and schooled and put to bed at regular intervals, but perhaps the bed and fed and schooled times varied.

And at Christmas, Larry would always put up the tree - if he was there.  And he would always take down the tree - if he was there.  (One year during Desert Storm, the tree stayed up well into late January when I finally took it down and dumped all the ornaments into a big basket where they stayed in the corner until Larry got home sometime in March.)  Single parenting is a bitch....

We do have a couple of traditions that we try to hold onto year after year:

1)  We have a nice catered Italian meal every Christmas Eve.  I.E. we order out pizza.  It started when Larry seemed to be gone a lot around Christmas time and it helped set the tone for the evening. We eat pizza while we watch Gremlins. (The girls have added the alcohol in the last few years.)

2)  I make a massive breakfast after we open presents - and the last 20 years or so I've been making "Breakfast Bowls"  a dish that I've unashamedly stolen from Bob Evans.  It is also called "heart attack in a bowl" by my children, but I don't recall anyone turning away from them.

And maybe the one thing that we all remember -

3)  Our own personal Elf.  My mom brought it back from Germany in the late 50's.  And every year it gets just a bit more raggedy.  We finally resorted to placing on a limb of the tree near the trunk because it is too fragile to hang.  And placing it was always Joshua's job.  He did it at the very end, just before Mary put the angel on the top of the tree.
(We lost it for a couple of years.  While it was gone, my friend Lyndy picked up a bunch of elves at yard sales for us and it helped a lot, but when we found that stray box in the attic with our elf in it, we all breathed a sigh of relief.)

My elf is on the right.  He appears to be cozy-ing up to a newbie on his left......

Maybe my kids will do Elf on the Shelf when they have kids.

I hope that they do that and eat pizza and have big breakfasts and pick a special child to put their elf on the tree.

Maybe I'll even let them borrow mom's elf.....

As long as I get it back.

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