Category Archives: Christmas

Hey Elf, Don’t Be Creepy!

Last year around this time, my older son asked me if we could “do” the Elf on the Shelf. I responded the way any smart, rational, overtired mother would. I backed out of the room slowly and came back five minutes later with a big bowl of freshly popped popcorn.

I.R.D. (Ignore-Redirect-Distract.) Elf crisis over.

I saw way too many blog posts, status updates, tweets, and memes about that smiling little prick. That spirited shit show ruined relationships and destroyed families. That perky piece of crap took the merry out of Christmas. I survived nine years of motherhood without the Elf on the Shelf, and damn it if I was going to give a f**k then.

Fast forward a year.

“Mom, can the Elf on the Shelf come to our house this year?” This from the nine-year-old with the big puppy dog eyes who will be double digits in a week.

“Can he please?” This from the seven-year-old who finally sprouted permanent front teeth.

I’ve lost my enthusiasm for a lot of parenthood-related things, like birthday parties, science fair projects, and back to school night, but I’m painfully conscious of the fleeting nature of childhood innocence. One day, your kid is writing a letter to the Tooth Fairy and the next day they’re begging for a Snapchat account.

My days are numbered. This I know.

It was impossible to wrap my arms around the concept of moving an elf around the house until Christmas, especially since I sometimes fell asleep before my kids (my husband was quick to point this out), but I caved because childhood… and innocence… and Amazon Prime.

“He doesn’t just show up.” Suddenly I was an expert. “You have to invite him.”

Ten minutes later, both kids handed over formal invitations (on index cards meant for practicing multiplication facts) that I was to put in the mail.

From the nine-year-old:

Hey Buddy, I would like you to come so you can play funny tricks! You seem so famous! This will be my first Christmas with you!

From the seven-year-old:

Hey elf come i love you

I promised to bring the invitations to the post office the next day and made a mental note that, in doing so, an overpriced dog toy would wreck my December and there would be no one to blame but me. Unless the dog ate the elf. Then, I could blame her (note to self).

The seven-year-old looked nervous. “Mommy, is the elf going to come in my bedroom?”

Why is everything magical also creepy?! “No, sweetie. The elf will hang out in the family room. Maybe the kitchen.”

Nerves turned into fear. “I don’t want him to come.”

Crap. “How about if we have a house rule that the elf has to stay downstairs? Okay? The elf won’t be allowed to go in anyone’s bedroom.” Were we talking about the Elf on the Shelf or stranger danger?

His faced relaxed. He left the room and returned a few minutes later with a revised invitation.

Hey elf come i love you

Dont Be creppy OK

Dont go upstairs elf

and dont hide in my bed OK

Turns out I was nervous, too.

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Filed under boys, Christmas

It’s That Time of Year

Friends,

It’s December 1st. The Elf on the Shelf is officially reaping havoc (and annoying everyone in his path), advent calendars are open for business, Christmas trees are tied to the tops of cars, houses are donned with twinkle lights, and for some us, dreidels, latke recipes, menorahs, and chocolate gelt are being prepped for Hanukkah, which begins on the evening of December 6th.

As such, I present to you one of my favorite posts, A Jewish Mama’s “Christmas for Dummies.” If I can survive it, so can you!

–> https://therunawaymama.com/2014/12/15/a-jewish-mamas-christmas-for-dummies-2/ <–

Enjoy!

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Filed under Christmas, Hanukkah, holidays

September

When I run up a steep hill, I chant, “Sweet potato fries, sweet potato fries, sweet potato fries,” for motivation. During the long, hot, sticky, and unstructured weeks of summer, I chant, “September, September, September.”

I love September. I love the weather. I love the foliage. I love the clothes. I love the warm cider and apple donuts. I love the new television season. I love the fresh start and the feeling that anything is possible. I love it all, and I want nothing more than to revel in this most wonderful time of the year.

But it’s a whirlwind. There are birthdays and anniversaries and back to school nights and soccer games and doctor’s appointments and teacher conferences and books to (want to but never actually) read and pumpkins to carve and Halloween costumes to order and crafting fantasies (and failures) and flu shots and school projects and more birthdays and anniversaries and holiday shopping and party planning and the grand finale of ThanksgivingHanukkahChristmasNewYears, at which point I’ll surely chant, “sweet potato fries, sweet potato fries, sweet potato fries.”

September is like a scrumptious amuse-bouche. It’s a delectable, bite-sized start to an epic meal that always leaves me stuffed to the gills and incapable of taking another bite before the main course ever arrives (except for sweet potato fries because there’s always room for sweet potato fries).

Outside, the trees are turning gorgeous shades of orange, yellow, and red, and I keep telling my boys, “Look up, look up, look up,” because soon the branches will be bare, the wind will whip, the deep cold will settle in, and the next time I come up for air will be mid-January, at which point I’ll wistfully chant, “Summer, summer, summer,” followed almost immediately by, “September, September, September.”

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Filed under anniversary, birthday, Christmas, Halloween, Hanukkah, holidays