The Rite of Passage

Your teen years.

Being a freshman in high school and again in University.

Being peed, pooped, puked on by your first newborn.

The first born’s first day of school.

Here’s a new one. Explaining to your first born about Santa, the tooth fairy, and the Easter Bunny. This year Crash questioned me once about Santa. I’m guessing he’s heard things at school. There’s so much he’s learned at school that isn’t in the curriculum. So much he’s learned from his friends. I could write a book about it. Or at least another post.

Anyway, he tossed it out one evening like it was no big deal, like he was telling me that he put milk in his cup. Like it ain’t no thang…

“I bet you and mom drink the milk, eat the cookies, and buy the presents”.

My response? “I wouldn’t do that. It’s not mine.” He went on to finish his bedtime snack and that was that. I mentioned once in a post that another mom used that as an opportunity  to help her son become Santa. We did something similar this year with the boys. As you may recall we did a daily random act of kindness. While our gifts and acts were not left and done anonymously, it still gave the boys a sense of generosity. It even came back to them twice. One kind soul gave us a turkey. Another kind soul gave us a gift card for a restaurant.

Anyway, back to the rite of passage. It could be because Crash is at that age, or perhaps just coincidence, but I read quite a few posts about children who had reached the “I don’t believe in Santa” age. While we may have skipped it this year, it was only by the seat of our newly hemmed pants. Crash picked up on a few irregularities.

Bang received a remote control car from Santa. However, upon putting batteries in it we discovered it didn’t work. How do you exchange a gift from Santa at Walmart? We played this off because DW’s dad and step-mom had bought the same car for our nephew so we just used their receipt. It sill left an impression on the oldest.

Next year I’m not sure we’ll be so lucky. What I wouldn’t give for them truly believe forever. Yes, it’s a rite of passage for us parents. However, it is just as much their rite of passage, too.  Our kids are growing up. We’ve kept them alive. They are smart enough to know better.

It doesn’t have to mean the magic is dead, though. Like love through a marriage, it doesn’t die, it just changes form. Once we realize this, we can adapt to the change. We change ourselves if need be. We grow.

I’ll never say good bye to the Jolly Old Elf. Even in years to come when neither believe it’s him leaving presents, I plan to make sure one or two have his name on them.

I know Christmas is over. The decorations are mostly down. We’re back to regular music. I just wanted to get this out there. I had it unfinished in my drafts folder and like a 9 year old asking to play Minecraft, it just wouldn’t leave me alone.

Lastly, if you’re really bored or you really love me, check out my YouTube channel to see me playing with my  Crash’s Christmas present. You’ll get a glimpse of where we live.

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The Daily Elf: The Finale

This day tugs at my heartstrings, y’all. Christmas Eve and the kids are wired for sound. Perpetual motion. A blur of constant motion like a toddler hyped up on a double double*.

Their excitement is contagious. In a year I suspected one would start questioning Santa, we got lucky. He brought it up once. I denied it. He let it go. I’ve got another post coming about that.

Through all this excitement comes bedtime. The boys know they aren’t allowed to touch the elves on account they’ll lose their magic ability to fly back to the North Pole. However, tonight is special. Tonight’s the night magic happens. They are allowed to hug the elves good bye and tell them, “See you next December.” Tonight Santa will arrive with his bag full of goodies. Woody and Elfis will have their magic restored by Santa and will join him on his flight. After seeing the elves for 24 days, they become a normal part of our house. It makes me sad to see them go. I think I need help…

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*A double double is a coffee with 2 cream and 2 sugar for those of you were curious but too shy to ask.

The Daily Elf

It’s after midnight. I didn’t turn into a pumpkin. Or a fruitcake.

DW and I just spent the last 4 hours wrapping presents. It was going okay until one of the elves became ever so slightly inebriated. You can tell by his wrapping.

And DW’s snorting laughter at him. Good times. We’re not done yet, but the rest will have to wait.

As for our elves… they had a little fun behind the Christmas tree. And no, they weren’t inebriated.

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The Daily Elf

Elves after my own heart…

Of course they LOVE to read! So do we. Crash already has his book picked out for our road trip tomorrow. He doesn’t have clothes picked yet, but by God he knows what he’s going to read. And Bang wants to write more stories. I love these kids!

Ask me again tomorrow after being in the truck for three hours with them.

Anyway, here are our elves “hiding”.

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Daily Random Acts of Kindess

Back on the second day of this month I wrote about a different kind of Advent Calendar. Essentially, instead of doing a Christmas count down with a tiny piece of chocolate each morning, we are doing a random act of kindness for each day leading up to Christmas.

So far we have:

  • Donated food to the food bank
  • Paid for the customer behind us at Tim Hortons (coffee shop)
  • Make friends with someone
  • We were generous with hugs and smiles
  • Donated coloring books and crayons to the dotctors office
  • Did chores without being asked
  • Delivered cookies to the RCMP (police) and Paramedics
  • Made homemade bird feeders for our feathered friends (and a couple squirrels)
  • Donated some of our toys
  • Called family members we hadn’t talked to for a long time
  • Rounded up stray shopping carts in a parking lot
  • Shovelled a neighbor’s driveway
  • Surprised the garbage/recycling collectors with a box of chocolates
  • Ran an errand for a friend
  • Write a nice letter and mail it to someone who doesn’t get much mail
  • Had a family fun night
  • Lent a helping hand
  • Volunteered at an event in our community
  • Chose our 3 favorite decorated houses and gave them a certificate
  • Baked cookies and shared them with the boys’s teachers and bus driver

Tomorrow we’ll be on the road travelling for an over-nighter. Crash has yet another oral consult to find out what can be done about his front tooth that has come in pointing towards the back of his mouth. Braces? Surgery? Something else entirely?

While we are at the hospital on Wednesday we will “candy cane bomb” as many cars as we can (64 since that’s how many candy canes we have). Each on has a Merry Christmas message taped to it and we’ll leave them randomly under windshields.

Then on Thursday we’ll leave money in vending machines so that when people go get a treat or drink they’ll find it’s already paid for.

Upon our return we will only have 2 more Random Acts of Kindness or, as Bang calls it, Random Actness Kindness before Christmas morning.

The whole purpose when we started this was teach the boys the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not about the gifts we’re going to get or Santa or Christmas lists. It’s also not about all the decorations or the sweets. It’s about being thankful for what we have. It’s being thankful that we are able to help others simply to make them feel good. It’s about the first rule of Christmas:

It is far better to give than it is to receive.

Bang took to it like a reindeer to flight. He was eager to help. If you could have seen him during the event where we helped serve 250 senior citizens turkey supper you would have seen him serving plates of food and later handing dishes over to be washed. While Crashed joined us and was eager to help he would still ask, “Do we get anything for helping?” No. You get thanked.

But it’s hard when you’re 9, I guess. To his credit, we have caught him doing more for others. Holding doors, helping others when he can, and attempting to think of others first. He’s made “gingerbread men” for the doctor(s) we’ll see tomorrow by drawing people on brown cardboard and coloring them. So we take our wins where we can. Perhaps he is learning after all.

The Daily Elf

I’ve got no post today. Instead of just writing something for sake of publishing, I’ll wait until tomorrow. I’ll write tomorrow and let you know how our daily Random Act of Kindness is going. Or as Bang calls it “Random Actness Kindness”.

For now I’ll just update you on the elves. Don’t forget to move yours!

The elves were busy last night. Not only did they move to their new spot on the closet doors after returning from the North Pole….

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When I checked my email this morning there was a message there from YouTube asking if I was ready to publish my video. HUH? I didn’t record anything.

What video?

The Elves hacked my YouTube account and used my GoPro last night! Once I found out it was them I showed it to the boys. They watched it 5 times in excited awe…

The Daily Elf

Today they tested their physical prowess. Perhaps they’re training for the next American Ninja Warrior? Or perhaps they’re slack lining or tight rope walking over Niagara Falls. Whatever they are training for they are training for it in our kitchen.

One of them did fall once. Bang wrote them a note “Woody and Elfis are you ok the last time you fell we love you”

They wrote back, “We’re okay.” so all was good.

The Daily Elf

I knew it was going happen. I told Crash yesterday that it would. These elves have a serious sweet tooth. I can’t blame them though. So do I.

So I found this ice cream one day and it looked delicious. Candy cane pieces in mint ice cream with Oreos. It cost $9 for 2 liters. Outrageous! I got it anyway as a treat because it looked that good.

Yesterday it was on sale. Half off.

I’ll take that thank you very much. We enjoyed it after supper and I told Crash when I put it back in the freezer that the elves were probably going to get into because of there great desire for sweets. And candy canes.

Lo and behold, in the freezer they were…

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The Daily Elf

Crash had a sleepover at Nanny and Pop’s house last night. Bang was really upset because he wanted to go. Big brother gets to go frequently. The elves, being as kind-hearted as they are, decided they would try for a sleepover in Bang’s bed. This definitely cheered him up. Though he knew Woody and Elfis couldn’t do that. If they got touched they’d lose their magic. So Mom carefully picked them in up (technically, she picked up the stocking they were snuggled in) and moved them to Crash’s bed for the night. When we woke we found them snuggled together. Woody hugged Elfis and Elfis hugged one of Crash’s stuffies and they were all snuggled in bed.

Later in the day they moved their stocking to Bang’s bedroom door. Bang nearly caught them, too! They had to dive back into their hiding place and nearly didn’t make it time! The excited squeal of a 5 year old echoed through the house…