Paige has been asking for an elf on the shelf for years. “They come to your house and watch you and you can’t touch them and please please please, I NEED an elf!”
Inspired by my friend, Lindsey, and this post, twin elves arrived at our house while the girls were at school. There was much shrieking! After Paige read the note she said, “no, no, no we can’t TOUCH THEM!” So they ended up moving themselves every night after we were in bed. They are magic, after all.
To get into the Christmas spirit we did our family annual “secret santa.” How tricky could we be? Always fun!
Sometimes the elves got into the pretzels, but mostly they reminded us to do nice things. I found this hysterical.
We bought our tree from the local fire department, decorated it, and had a fight about the ornaments…we repented later with tears and apologies. Yep, just keeping it real here.
Our church youth group went caroling at a retirement center. After a shaky start, we sang with gusto and had a great night 🙂 Our elves continued to move, hanging out in odd places.
Our tree has a duct tape star, made by my Nellie-mak many years ago. He now thinks it looks trashy. I refuse to get rid of it!
Paige left little snack crumbs for the elves. If we get mice I’ll blame it on Christmas.
Our elves speak Spanish!
Brynne proved to be my real Christmas elf, addressing Christmas cards. Whew.
Apparently, our address is difficult to find:
Did you know, one of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy!
Making cookies makes me happy…
It’s one of the most fun things we do as a family in December. Even when Nelson tries to walk out of the picture. Note the weather? AWESOME.
My children were grumpy there was no snow whilst I not-so-secretly expressed my great glee at 50-degree December temps. It makes the morning run so much better. And I know…the white stuff is coming. Christmas favorites.
It was an odd year, too. My children are getting older. They have amazing opportunities! Nelson left before Christmas to go ski in Canada with his Nordic team.
Cope went to Germany to au pair for her nice and nephew!
I think she really ate a lot of treats and bratwurst. Incredible experience!
Finally, all my children came home.
Christmas Eve is always special. We read the story of Christ’s birth in Luke 2, Matthew, and The Book of Mormon. This is our angel declaring the good news!
Andy Rooney said, “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.” This is the “before” shot.
I bought myself some Wicked Good Slippers from L.L. Bean 50% off. Life is complete.
After the presents were open, The Professor left us Christmas morning for a basketball tournament in England! What???! But guess what? They won! And strutted the famous crosswalk in front of Abbey Road Studio. Proud of our #hornets!
We’ve missed our daddy. Especially when the basement flooded. I can’t talk about it yet.
But… It snowed! And the kiddies were happy. I’m adjusting. It’s beautiful! And our dear Mr. Goody plowed me out when I got stuck in the driveway. Hey, I’m a feminist and all that but I sure like men with tractors! Obsessed with brussel sprouts this season. I’ve got a knock-out recipe…
Days before it snowed we had a photo shoot. My parents arrived from Arizona. Yahoo!
Striking a pose. Ewwwww…my feet are getting wet! Mom, I can’t sit down on the wet rocks – my pants! So he sat on his sister’s hand. “This is so wrong,” he said. But aren’t they cute? Walking down the catwalk That’s enough, paparazzi.
So there you have it. Our Christmas. Food. Our beloveds. Snow. Presents. Love.
My friend, Scott, sent me this article by Tim Urban, an author/illustrator. It’s called “The Tail End.” He writes: “I’m 34, so let’s be super optimistic and say I’ll be hanging around drawing stick figures till I’m 90. If so, I have a little under 60 winters left.”
But his bigger point was that he’s used up about 90% of his time with the people he’s loved best: his parents and siblings.
I’m thinking about my children now. They spend so much time together now. But these long December days together are dwindling. They are going incredible places. How many more moments do they have with each other? How many more Christmases will we spend together?
Gee, aren’t I a bundle of fun???
I’m just saying: The Tail End has made me feel more intentional this season, more mindful of this time that is flying by.
When you actually draw a picture, marking out the days you’ve had with your parents, siblings, children, best friends, like Tim Urban did, it becomes starkly clear that although you might not be at the end of your life, you may be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important, and the most loved people in your life.
So this season, I especially liked this:
First there was a little family. Now there’s our little family. Your little family.
I hope that this Christmas season we made the most of our time together. But if not, remember: tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is a NEW YEAR!
Happy 2015. Happy 2016!