Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Elf on A Shelf 2014

It's been 26 (glorious) days since I retired from my part time job as an Elf. Not that I'm counting.

For those reading, I'd like it noted that I took over Elf duty 100% this year-there was no participation or help or even suggested ideas from the husband. None. Oh, no-that's not bitterness you hear in my voice.

While you're taking notes, I'd also like it documented that it was exhausting and tiring and a lot of really hard work. Also, blood, sweat and tears. While maybe not blood-but definitely sweat and tears.

Don't believe me?

I present Exhibit A:


That's three strands of Christmas lights wrapped around our toilet. Strung at 2 AM. Because I woke up in a near panic attack when I forgot to move him before I fell asleep.

Still not convinced?

How about Exhibit B:

33 balloons in a bathtub blown up by yours truly during two nap times. Yes, I wasted TWO nap times blowing up balloons for an elf. If you're not crying by now, I'd like to know the names of the medications you are on.

Also, for good measure, Exhibit C:

A zip-lining elf. Idea credits to Pinterest on this one, but work credit to me. I woke up at 4:30 to construct that bad boy. And there may have actually been blood drawn as I cut the zip line on this one-my memory is hazy from the lack of sleep.

So-yes, BLOOD, SWEAT, TEARS.  All of them.

By day 20 in Elf-land, I almost threw in the towel. Desperate not to disappoint the kids, I searched Pinterest and found what might be the only reason Chippy gets to return next year-elf provoked random acts of kindness day.

On day 21, my kids woke up to an empty box, some supplies from Chippy and this note:

Not one to let an opportunity to get on Santa's nice list pass him by, Tyson dove right in and came up with 2 boxes of old toys to donate before breakfast. Mila was less enthused with the idea of giving up her toys, but agreed to pose unsmiling next to said boxes.


We spent the better part of the morning hand drawing cards for our local police and fire stations and compiling a list of people who make us smile or work hard for us everyday (Target cookie lady, our pastor, the kid's pediatrician, Mommy's Starbucks barista-clearly).


Then we set out. For two hours, we drove around handing out Redbox movie codes, popcorn, donuts, coffee and hot chocolate. In return we received smiles. Lots and lots of smiles-from the recipients, from people watching us, and on our own faces.

It was hands down my favorite day of the holiday season this year and a tradition I can't wait to continue. I'm hoping the kids learned that giving can be more rewarding than receiving. And that it's easy to make someone smile. And that it's important to appreciate the everyday things other people do for us.  If day 21 left even a tiny imprint of those lessons on their brain, Chippy was worth the blood, sweat and tears this year.

That said, on day 23, I did send a subliminal message to the husband:

Still not sure he got it.

Until next year, Chippy.

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