As Thanksgiving drew to a close, the questioning began.
"You're going to decorate tomorrow, right Mom?!" and then,
"Tomorrow, you're going to turn on the Christmas music. Is that right, Mom?" I do love her enthusiasm. And yes, I had plans to spend the day decorating our home while blasting the Christmas tunes. But then came this question.
"Ricky is coming back tomorrow, right Mom?" To be honest, the whereabouts of our family's elf on the shelf was unknown. Rumor had it that he'd been caught in an intense polar ice storm while making his way back to us; either that or he was lost in a deep, forgotten corner of my bedroom closet. To be honest, I'm not sure what's more frightening! Knowing I needed additional time to contact, possibly rescue, Ricky, I replied:
"No. He won't come back until Santa is ready to send him. Maybe if we get our house decorated, it will remind him of the North Pole." Decorating would be my primary focus. I would turn my attention to Ricky's rescue later.
Maybe she wasn't listening or simply doubted my response because the day after Thanksgiving, I received a text from Andrew while I was out Christmas shopping.
Having spent the morning shopping with my Mom and having "brunch" with Eliza, Andrew checked out for awhile that afternoon to do some fly fishing with his Dad. He really loves spending time with Bubba. It is pretty tender to see him behind the scenes, preparing for outings like that. This admission will probably embarrass him, but truthfully, I don't know how often he reads my blog so I am going to leave it in.
Having done all I could to decorate, I requested that he help me set up the tree later that afternoon.
"But it's not December first yet. I will help you when it's actually December." Whaaaaaaaat?!? Our agreement, after 10 years of marriage, is that our Christmas season begins the day after Thanksgiving. He was not feeling motivated to help with the tree which discouraged us all.
Thankfully, after putting the children to bed that night, Ricky arrived. With his Christmas magic, he helped set up the tree! I'm grateful that he came despite the grinch-like behavior of my husband.
Can you even handle that level of Christmas enthusiasm, folks?!
The kids were delighted to find the tree set up the next morning. With a note in his arms, Ricky expressed his happiness at returning to our home and then instructed the children to re-read his Christmas book.
Finally, it was time to turn our attention to decorating the Christmas tree.
My favorite is looking at the picture framed ornaments of year's past and cry over how each of our children have grown. It was a happy start to our holidays. And, I thought this post it would be appropriate to share their Christmas wish lists. Eliza actually wrote two.
Eliza's wish list:
- paints and brushes
- paper and crayons
- sewing needles and pins
- lots of fabric
- lots of books
- fun Christmas sweater
- New Church dress
- Bow n' arrow
- Safari Rescue Base (lego friends)
Here's the other, the first actually, letter to Santa that she wrote.
How is life? Are you okay? Life is great for me. Have I been a good girl? I hope I've been a good girl. If not, I'm so sorry for what I've done. Please tell your elves to at least make all 10 items if you can make at least all 10 items, it will be the best Christmas ever!
Best wishes and happy hearts,
Eliza Grace Flegal
The list was then written on the back.
- Jungle safari rescue base
- sister safari tent
- fun Christmas sweater
- paints and paper
- rebelle agent bow blaster
- fart blaster
- hot pink running shoes
- rainbow loom bands
- feelings journal (HA HA HA HA! She is my child!)
- world record book!
"Henry's things he wants for Kirsmis"
(Please note: Just like Eliza, he wants a fart blaster. Thank you Despicable Me. I am so proud. Not.)
As for Lottie, Eliza helped her out with her letter to Santa.
This year I want a fart blaster, aka, fart gun, more princess legos, Elsa & Anna castles (please give them together) Barbie Nutcraacker gift set (with CD) princess barbies (including Elsa & Anna) Little Tikes First Slide.
Thank you so much!
Lottie Marie Flegal
And the envelope. :)
And an unnecessary addendum:
The Elf on the Shelf is a tradition my children love. There is a lot of ugly discord surrounding the "creepy elf," which is unfortunate. If it isn't a tradition you support, that's fine. But why give yourself the headache that comes along with tearing down others who delight in welcoming one of Santa's elves into their home?
It takes two minutes at night for Ricky to find a new place. He doesn't engage in much mischief at our house. I've seen, via social media, really naughty elves, super clever elves and most recently "kindness elves" who encourage their little friends to engage in performing daily acts of kindness and/or service. This idea totally promotes the Christmas spirit which is awesome. However, at our house, Ricky is pretty mellow, yet efficient in inspiring better behavior and adding another fun layer of holiday magic.
And that's all I have to say about that.