From Us to You

We’re just two days away from Christmas morning. We have two very excited boys nearly bouncing off the walls. It’s tough to not get carried away with them.

Woody and Elfis will make their final appearance of this Christmas season tomorrow. At bedtime on Christmas Eve the boys get to touch their elves. They hug them and kiss them good night and bid them farewell till next year. It makes me a bit sad to see them go, too. The boys love to see what antics the elves get up to. They squeal with laughter that is so fun to hear. Partly because it’s so fun to hear their excitement and partly because it makes me sad to see them sad. Today, the two elves were zip lining across the kitchen and when we weren’t looking, would move to a new spot or pose on the line. The boys were constantly checking and giving us update on their movement. I guess it could be equated to NORAD.

 Anyway, I hope you wake to freshly fallen snow. Put on the Christmas music. Gather your family round the tree with its ornaments dangling and its lights twinkling. Sip your hot chocolate/tea/coffee and bask in the excitement that opening gifts brings. Forget the mess. Forget your worries and your troubles and enjoy this magical day. Here’s to you and your loved ones, from all of us. Merry Christmas and I hope the New Year brings, peace, love, joy, good health and lots of wealth!

P.S. For all you folks with kids, I pray your day won’t start too too early!

Woody and Elfis


 As I said earlier, our Elf gets his own post.
Three years ago an elf came to our house to watch over Crash and Bang and report their behavior and attitudes to Santa.
 Well, this year I need say our ELVES. Yes, our faithful shelf elf Woody brought along a friend to help keep watch. His first night here, we didn’t settle on a name. He was called Chuckles, Elfie, Elvis, and Elfis. His second day brought instruction to name him and he became Elfis. Now every time I see him all I can think of is “Blue Christmas“.

Now every time I wake up in the morning I get that panicked “Oh shit, did I move the elves”? Though, after 3 years it’s becoming more of a habit to move them. Like Pavlov’s dogs (and a good hubby) I’ve been trained (mostly).

Sometimes, they bring stuff back from Santa. Like letters. Or Christmas tree ornaments. Or a nice and naughty list (which only the elves have control over). Or, like a few mornings ago, pajamas to wear for their yearly Christmas picture (that’ll be tomorrow’s post). Things they were going to get anyway, merely made magical since they were delivered by their elf.

Of course, our elves are creative and enjoy a good Christmas prank now and then (this lands them on their own naughty list). It’s fun to see Elf on the Shelf spoofs and all the fun others have with their elves.

Some people think it’s creepy. We think its entertaining to see our kids excitement and enjoy the “magic” of the elves because there will come a day when there is no more magic. Awe, who am I kidding… they’ll believe in the magic forever because they know the consequences for not believing (like me)!


All Aboard!

If you are familiar with “The Polar Express” this post will make sense. If you’re not familiar with it, stop. Go to your nearest bookstore, download it for your reader, anything. Get familiar with it. It’s my favorite Christmas story.

Anyway, I taught 4th grade for 6 years and everytime around this year I would read  this story to them. Inevitably,  I  would get asked “Is Santa real”? I would usually pose the question back to them. But there were always some who couldn’t hear that bell ring any longer.  Though it saddened me greatly, I knew better than to try to convince them otherwise. That would be my cue to explain my meaning of the Jolly Old Elf.

To me, Santa is the magic of Christmas. He’s the giving, the excitement, the joy and happiness, the anticipation and the wonder. Giving gifts shows we care and want someone, other than ourselves, to be happy. That inherently makes us happy,  too. Ever see a kid, young or old, on Christmas morning? Exactly.  I’m like my two kids, giddy, overflowing with excitement, barely able to contain it all. That is the work of Santa. He is the colorful lights, the wrapping paper patiently waiting  to be shredded, the joy of the Christmas tree and all the decorations that go with it. Santa is the magic.

My kids know (or at least believe) that once you no longer believe in Santa, you no longer get any presents.  I’m pretty sure that’s a risk they’ll never be willing to take. Heck, I’m still waiting for my train to take me to the North Pole so Santa can give me the first gift of Christmas so I can ask for one of his reindeer’s bells. Yes, the bell still rings for me. If it doesn’t ring for you, find a kid and you’ll be garunteed to hear that bell soon enough.

May Santa bring you good health and good cheer this holiday season.

Blueberries for Christmas

I wrapped some Christmas presents this evening. And I got to thinking how the season took hold of me a little earlier than usual. Our red and green Christmas count down chain began at 42 sleeps. It went up one side of the door frame, across, and down the other side. Now it is simply the length of the door. Christmas morn draws near. Icicle lights hang from the front eave. Santa and the snowman adorn the front doorstep. Colorful lights twinkle in the window. However, all this pales in comparison to the tree that blocks the TV from 2 viewing spots. Raised by me, ornamented by the kids, it stands honorably, proudly, patiently waiting for the Eve of the Jolly Ol’ Elf. That evening, we opened the bag which contained all of our sentimental ornaments: Christmas turtles and frogs, the homemade ones and the school-made ones, the baby’s first Christmases, even the one that glows in the dark. We opened that bag and let the kids hang them all while we fielded the questions of the stories behind each one. Yes, there are some branches that have 4 ornaments. Of course, there are vast empty spaces where there are no ornaments. But each ornament was hung with care and excitement and that makes the tree magically perfect. If we’re good, Santa will hopefully leave us toys under this magical tree

However, if we’re bad, he’ll bring us coal. But how do you explain that Santa will bring coal to bad boys and girls to 3 year old who thinks coal is fun? The original conversation went something like this:
Me: What do you want Santa to bring you?
3 year old: A cement truck!
Me: What’s he going to bring you if you’re bad?
3 year old: I dunno.
Me : Coal.
3 year old: What’s coal?
Me: It’s what Nova Scotia burns to make electricity. Do you want that?
3 year old: Yeah!
Me: Never mind. He won’t bring coal. He’ll bring you blueberries. Do you want blueberries?
3 year old: No. Blueberries are gross.
So now Santa bring blueberries to our house if you’re bad. His older brother is okay with that because he likes blueberries. 
This is also our 4th year with that ever careful watcher, Woody, the elf on the shelf, and in the tree, in the fridge, in the freezer, in the china dishes and in the curtains, and into mischief. This year, he brought along a friend… Elfis. But that’s a whole other post because I have to go see if they’ve moved to new spots yet!
I hope you find this holiday season as merry as I do this year!

Woody’s Watching!

Christmas time is here again. I love it. This year we will have a white Christmas! Since moving to Canada 4 years ago, a white Christmas has been iffy. Weird, eh? When you think of Canada you usually think snow. Year round snow like permafrost. Igloos. Cold. Oh, there’s snow here, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes it doesn’t come until after Christmas.

Anyway, this is my favorite time of year. The lights, decorations, the cheer, the excitement, the food… it’s glorious! And with 2 kids I can be the kid I am with them. I love the snow! Let’s go sledding, build a snowman, have a snowball fight! Let’s build an igloo (no, we’re going to live in it). I love to go running in it. It’s amazingly quiet. And now, to add to the excitement of snow and counting down to Christmas, we have Woody, our Elf on the Shelf.

I’ve read many statuses about dreading this little “watcher”. I forgot to move him! The kids touched him! I’m not that motivated to make him do silly things! Well, I love ours as much as the kids do. It’s fun coming up with ideas or trying out ideas discovered elsewhere. To see the kids faces when they find him every morning is totally worth it. I know, I know… it’s just one more lie we are telling the kids. First Santa, now this. But I’m guessing as the kids grow (even into teenagers one day), we will continue to have Woody around. One day they won’t believe. One day they will know without a doubt about Woody’s secret… he’s not real.

But, to we who believe and dream, he is real. Like the Velveteen Rabbit. Like Buzz and Woody. Therefore, Woody the Shelf Elf is going to be around for a long time. And one day it’ll be their turn to hide Woody. One day they’ll be allowed to be in charge of the nice and naughty list we currently use. One day. But not today. Today, Woody still has the magic of Christmas, reminding us that no matter how excited, how tired, how tempted, we still need to be good. And come Christmas Eve, we will be allowed to touch Woody because Santa is coming to pick him up when he drops off presents. We will hug Woody good night and bid him farewell until next December 1st. In the morn, amid the excitement of presents and wrapping paper will be a touch of sadness that Woody is not there to share the Joy with us. I assume this to be true for the kids for it’s certainly true for me.

Now my inner child wants a mint chocolate chip cookie that my outer adult made. He’s been a good boy today so he gets two.