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Category Archives: Elf on the Shelf


Last year I got sucked into the commercialism of the holiday and bought the latest and greatest must-have-Christmas tradition – The Elf on a Shelf. I was one of those parents who spend hours scouring Pinterest for new and creative ways to pose our Elf each night in hopes that they would ooh and aah in the morning.  Our Elf was posing doing the YMCA with his Barbie friends. He was building houses of Lego. He even made himself a cozy bed out of Kleenex.  This year, our Elf is just plain lazy. He basically moves a few feet every night. Mingling with some of our other Christmas decorations, in hopes that he will blend in and the kids will be somewhat challenged when looking for him in the morning. So far there have been no complaints from said children. In fact my son was telling me that the Elf is magic and flies around the house at night to find the best spot to hide. Awesome! Let’s go with that. Especially since I have to set a reminder on my phone just so I don’t forget to move the Elf. Last year I had several nights were I woke up around 3am in a cold sweat because I realized I had forgotten to move the Elf. I remember how fun and exciting it all seemed last year.  A new and exciting holiday tradition. This year…I’m just not that into him. But I’ll keep up the magic for the kids and be grateful that I didn’t buy more than one Elf as many of my friends did (“so each kid can have one when they are adults. They can share the Elf with their kids!!!”). Honestly, I’m thinking that when our kids are older they are going to look back and find the Elf a little creepy looking and laugh at what fools we were for buying in to such an weird tradition. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it will be the new ‘milk and cookies’ for Santa tradition that gets carried on for years to come.

Elf Conversations

Katie “Mommy, I really hope we get a girl Elf this year.

Me “Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the same Elf that visited us last year…which was a boy”

(after the arrival of said Elf)

Katie “Mommy, did our Elf have eyelashes last year?”

Me (insert long pause) “Do YOU think our Elf had eyelashes last year?”

Katie “No. I knew it! We got a girl Elf this year!!!

(Naming of said “new” Elf)

Me “What are you going to name your Elf?

Jack “Shark!”

Katie “No it’s a girl. I am going to name her Emily”

Jack “Shark…Shark..Shark..Shark…Shark”

Katie “Jaaaack!”

Until I write again…


Continuously Counting

Continuously Counting.  The last couple of months my daughter has developed a deep passion for numbers. In particular counting to 100. Throughout the day I will hear her start counting. About a month into Kindergarten she started counting to 100 by tens, then fives and now twos.  Most recently she’s discovered that there are numbers beyond 100 and now she will count until you find a reason for her to stop.  I’ve since learned that when we drive home from school on rainy days, Katie can count to 157 during the drive and that includes a stop at the mailbox. I’ve also learned that when I say “just give me a minute” what I actually mean is that in 230 seconds you will have my undivided attention. Oh and I have the added benefit of now listening to her brother count. I’ve been trying to teach him basic numbers 1-5 for months with no luck. Suddenly he’s counting along with her   So now I’ve got my daughter counting to 100 and beyond in the back of my car as I drive, and I’ve also got her brother echoing every number she counts. It truly is amazing though how overnight my son’s gone from only recognizing the number 7 (the hour he is “supposed” to be getting up in the morning) to being able to count to 20 and recognizing the numbers 1-9 as he sits on my knee when Katie and I play cards. I fully understand the importance of encouraging your children’s learning and am ever grateful for their love for learning. As you can imagine it takes some patience to smile and listen with enthusiasm as your child counts to 100 for the tenth time in a day.

Oh Christmas Tree.  I wrapped some presents this afternoon and when my daughter got home from school she noticed right away. She sat under the tree just staring at them for quite a while. When my husband got home she dragged him over to the tree and showed him each one and in informed him what order she was going to open them on Christmas morning. I’m not sure how she is going to last for 14 more sleeps. And I’m truly surprised that my two-year old has not helped himself and un-wrapped a gift or two.  Amazing self-control on his part.

Believing in the Magic.  This morning as I was volunteering in my daughter’s class I overheard two of the children talking about their Elf on a Shelf. One of the boys stated very matter of factly “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Elf isn’t real and that my parents just move him around the house at night”. I didn’t hear any more of the conversation but it’s probably going to come up more often now that my daughter is getting older and in school. It’s such a short time in their lives where they have that unconditional belief and it seems magical to me. I love how my kids play make-believe with their toys and how creative they can be.  I know that there will be a time, probably sooner than I’d like, where she no longer believes in the magic. For now, we are making special memories and enjoying every minute of it.

A Bit of Gratitude.  Last night my husband and I were catching up on one of our favourite shows, Homeland. It was just before 10pm and we had one more to go. I don’t usually last past 9:30pm. I just get too tired so I usually have some sense and head to bed. But that show is just so good I HAD to see what happened next. I cracked open a coke zero, down a square of dark chocolate and said “ok, let’s do it”. About 10 minutes in I started seeing double. Does that ever happen to you? You are so relaxed and tired suddenly people turn into twins before your eyes. I kept trying to shake it off but next thing I knew my husband was waking me up. Ug, my first thought was “I am so tired and I still have to tidy up the house and move that darn Elf on the Shelf”. But I looked around to discover that my husband had done both. He is awesome like that. So I dragged my butt to bed and got some sleep. I am very grateful for moments like that . Steve you are the best, thank you!

Until I write again…


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