With an early Thanksgiving, it seems like Christmas is bearing down on us with unrepentant fury. Every day I sift through emails with titles like: "We love Christmas Cookies! Dozens of Great Recipes!" and "101 Christmas Decorating Ideas." I feel like the hoopla surrounding the holiday season is a will-o'-the-wisp that draws me off the path of what is important about the holiday and on to tangents full of table settings, cookie recipes, and gift-giving guides. I feel like Christmas has too much content. What other holiday do we have that involves extreme house decorating:
And extreme gift-buying:
And, I haven't even touched on holiday cards, holiday parties, and all the charity events and activities around in December. We could easily split Christmas into three different holidays and have more than enough to do for each one. Never mind that not one thing I mentioned has a smidgen to do with the birth of Jesus. He was born in a manger for goodness sake, not a suburban house festooned with colored electric lights and inflatable snowmen in the front yard.
Okay, I think I'm being a bit of a Grinch because I really haven't done anything yet for the holidays and I'm kind of freaking out. Every day that passes, I see decorations going up and cars with trees tied to the roofs. I check my email and I realize that I've missed all the big sale days and now will be forced to pay full price for something I could have bought yesterday in exchange for some shiny rocks and beads. I look at Pinterest and I'm overwhelmed by pictures of cakes and pies and quick gift ideas and evergreen centerpieces. What I really need is a pin that tells you how get through Christmas with a shred of sanity remaining.
So, it's with a heavy heart that I am joining with the holiday insanity by posting about Elf on the Shelf. If you don't know what the Elf is, read the manufacturer's description on the Amazon link. Also, how have you avoided hearing of Elf on the Shelf? Were you perhaps on a sequestered jury and unable to access any media or small children? Never mind. There seem to be two Elf camps: one is that group of over-achievers who have gazillions of ideas of funny things for your elf to do. You know, like this lady over at Blossom Bunkhouse (Mayim Bialik just let out a big "oy vey") whose list of 101 Elf on the Shelf ideas has been all over Pinterest. Even though this has been pointed out, many of her ideas involve the Elf making a huge mess. WTF? We have children to do that. In the other Elf camp, there are folks like this chick who want to punch over-achieving Elf moms in the throat. Also in this camp is the Baby Rabies lady and her Inappropriate Elf Contest. It's the second annual contest and please, if you have a minute, go check out some of last year's entries. Look at this one:
So, in which camp am I? I haven't figured that out yet. Here's the deal: this is our first year with the little guy and we're in the honeymoon period. Since Elf on the Shelf is far more like a month-long April Fool's Day joke than anything Christmas-related, I'm kinda in my element. I may not be able to make a Christmas cookie that doesn't look like an amoeba, but if sufficiently sleep deprived, I can be pretty creative. I should add that doing Elf on the Shelf doesn't contradict my earlier statement that I haven't done anything for Christmas because he arrived in mid-November in a box from Amazon and all I did was open up the box and stick him on the bookcase in our family room. Nary a sprig of holly decorates the shelf on which he perches.
The kids named our elf Abe (I'm thinking it's as in Lincoln, rather than Froman, sausage king of Chicago). By the way:
Abe is not a mess-making elf. He is a silly elf. Here are some of the things that Abe has done:
Made off with our remote controls:
Swung from the chandelier:
Read in the guest bathroom:
Lifted some marshmallow weights:
Gorged himself on Halloween candy: