If you’ve been reading a while, you might remember this post from last year about the night Asher learned the sad truth about Santa Claus.
And while that was all very bittersweet, there was a little part of me that was, of course, a little relieved to not have to keep up the act anymore. It’s just easier when all parties involved KNOW that, hello!, it’s us shopping and buying and wrapping and hiding the gifts and making all of this “magic” happen. 😉
I was also honestly a little relieved to be able to retire the friendly yet kind of annoying Elf on the Shelf. I think the whole elf thing emerged around the time Ethan was a baby. Can’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure my mom bought me the “Elf package” one year…(thanks mom….) and the rest was history. Haha.
The boys did LOVE LOVE LOVE the Elf, I will say. It was such a simple thing, really- just move the elf, and in the morning, the kids would gleefully search the house to find him. What great fun! (Except for the person who had to remember to move the darn Elf from the living room to the sun room and then to the kitchen each night….and had a real knack for forgetting to do this until she was tucked in bed, about to fall asleep….).
Over the years, like everything in America, it seems, the cute little Elf tradition had to jump on crazy train, though. It morphed into this big thing, where the Elf no longer just sits on the shelf. Oh, no. The Elf now must make mischief! He’s a regular rebel rouser!
Have you seen some of those pics online? The elaborate pranks people have their “elves” do?? IT’S CRAZY.
I drew the line right then and there. NO WAY. It was all I could do to remember to move the elf. NO way was I going to stay up late setting up elaborate MESSES that the “Elf” made, that I would then later get to clean up too!
So, our elf just sat on the shelf (as he was intended to do, in the first place.)
Sometimes the boys would ask things like, “Why does our elf not get into the pantry and leave flour all over the place?” And I would just say, “Huh! I don’t know. I guess we got a very well behaved elf.”
Last year I moved him around, just “for fun”, since Asher found out about Santa right at the end of November. I felt bad stripping this little piece of magic away, too…..So I did it anyway, even though they knew it was me.
But this year, I didn’t get him out, and I didn’t even say a word about him. I was like- nah. I think I’m good on the whole elf thing. I do not feel the need to move around a stuffed toy anymore!!
It took until December 3rd before anyone even noticed. Last night Asher finally did ask, “Hey! Is the elf around this year??”
I just said, “Nope! He’s not.” 🙂 He gave me a little bit of a hard time, but I doubt he actually cares.
I pulled him out this morning, because Asher was curious where I had kept him all these years. And I will say- I felt a little guilty seeing him trapped inside this plastic box! Poor guy! He must feel so lonely in there….Sad.
This all made me think of other Christmas traditions and some things we DON’T do. I feel like we are pretty “all in” on many Christmas festivities, but then again, I guess I do also happily sit some things out.
Holiday traditions we skip:
- making gingerbread houses! I’ve never made one in my life. The boys used to do them at a neighbor’s house every year, which was perfect. But now that they moved, they are out of luck.
- Elaborate Elf on the Shelf tricks. (see above)
- matching PJs! NO NO NO. We definitely do not do this, as I mentioned the other day. Not in any capacity. I don’t even make the boys match.
- professional family holiday photos. We did this one year, in 2015. But other than that, we never get professional photos taken (in any season)! They are always very lovely when other people do, but it just seems like a big hassle. Pass.
- traipsing into the forest to cut down our own Christmas tree. Also a lovely tradition, for those who partake. But we personally traipse into the basement, pull out the box, stick the tree up and call it good. 🙂
- making a big holiday meal on Christmas! We actually DON’T eat a formal Christmas meal at our house! We tend to do more snacky type foods around our bar on Christmas Eve (cheese/crackers, sausage, Christmas cookies, meatballs, shrimp with sauce, etc)…plus some kind of “heavier” food, but it’s never fancy. Some years we do BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, but oftentimes we’ll do something Mexican inspired. We’ve had carnitas tacos, enchiladas, tostadas…..weird, maybe? But it works for us and I actually love it.
- a big Christmas cookie making party. I feel like so many people I know attend full day baking events with their friends or relatives, where they make 9,428 cookies in someone’s ginormous kitchen. I’ve never, ever done that! Looks fun and all, but just not something I’ve ever done. I usually bake some cookies with the boys on a couple different occasions and that’s it.
That’s all I can think of! What did I miss? What traditions do you skip out on?
I am grateful for the little sprayer nozzle on my sink faucet. Really comes in handy!