I am all for holiday traditions – maintaining old and embracing new. With two children who are still true believers in all things Christmas, it brings me great joy to actively participate in a number of traditions.
Despite the daily dose of sugar, we partake in the Chocolate 25 Days to Christmas.
We talk about each ornament and the story behind it as we decorate the tree.
We count down each night to turn on the outside lights.
We always “get” a video message from Santa reminding us to be “good boys and girls.”
And new for 2012, we have Santa Bell, our Elf on the Shelf….
…and I gotta say, this may not be one tradition we keep.
I must admit, this is mostly in part due to my laziness and the fact that Santa Bell arrived the week of Thanksgiving (way too early). While I am getting better at finding more creative places for Santa Bell to greet the children in the morning, there are nights she stays put. Santa Bell is also very placid as far as what she “gets in to” from night to-night. Her most mischievous act was sitting in a bowl of marshmallows (I know it’s so lame). I am well aware of what other elves are getting into and the havoc they are causing, but seriously – I can’t imagine making a mess and then cleaning it up. No way – no how!
Most importantly, this tradition is turning me into an habitual liar. Despite the ground rules set – Santa Bell will move each day and touching the elf erases her magic – neither has been successfully achieved. Case in point: I came home from work one afternoon to see my father unknowingly holding Santa Bell to the wide-eyed horror of my children. *Why-a is da toy so higha on da frigerifo? OOa can play with it like-a-dat?
Shit. How would I explain this to the kids? Well, one little lie of how grandfathers have special absolution has snowballed into a list of expectations and pardons. It’s insane and I can’t even keep track of what I have said. (and for the record, my 74 year-old father thinks I have lost my mind).
With Christmas just three weeks away, I think Little Man – who has love/hate relationship with Santa Bell (she appeared in his room one morning and he refused to go in his room until she left) will be relieved of her departure and my daughter (who hopes we can adopt Santa Bell so she can stay with us all year-long) will be melancholy.
And for me? While I would like Mr. Elf to find a new shelf, I believe I was not fully prepared for the commitment of this tradition. Perhaps I need to set better ground rules and expect her arrival some time in mid December. I will do my homework and plan better AND explain the concept to my father.
So for this year……well she’ll move from tree to shelf to kitchen and back again – when I can remember!
*translation: Why is the toy on top of the fridge? Who can play with it from there?