Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Believe it or not, we don't actually have tons of extra free time on our hands . . .

But you'd never know it by just looking at the random optional things that we sign up to do. Case in point, the Christmas Elves. What, you don't have elves coming from the North Pole to trash your house every December? I am not sure if this is a national phenomenon yet, but around here, elves are all the rage. Bix and Libby started visiting us a few years ago, I believe on Elizabeth's first Christmas. Colleen joined them last year for Caroline's first Christmas. Here is the deal: the children write a letter to Santa Claus asking him to send some of his elves to spend some time with them before Christmas. If all goes well, one day the doorbell will ring and there will be a strange package on the front steps, and imagine our delight when we open it and find honest to goodness North Pole elves inside! By day, the elves look like regular old stuffed animals (or "Webkinz," as Elizabeth calls all stuffed animals). But at night, if you leave out crackers and water for the elves, and sprinkle them with magic snowflakes (which are actually little white pieces of paper from a three hole puncher, and you'll still be finding them around the house in July), the elves will magically come to life and make mischief all night long while you are nestled all snug in your beds. When the kids wake up in the morning, they can't wait to see what the elves got up to the night before, and tear through the house in search of them.

One thing we've realized is that once your kid gets into elementary school, you can say goodbye to the Totalitarian State Model of family management that you used to have -- you know, the benevolent dictatorship where you got to filter the information that came into your house. Now that Jacob is in first grade, all he knows is that ALL of his friends already have their elves, and he is the only one suffering without his (you're killing us, other parents out there). We've told him that this is because Bix, Libby and Colleen have Very Important Jobs at the North Pole, and Santa just can't afford to be without them for a whole month. If we are lucky, Santa might be able to let them go a couple of weeks before Christmas. Plus, Bix, Libby and Colleen are super-naughty elves, and it's hard for them to come up with creative new antics year in and year out. Here are some of the highlights from last year (can you see why Jacob just can't stand to wait another day?)

Here they are sliding down the banister:

Then there was that time that they joined in and started singing along with our Byers carolers:

Oh, and who can forget when we woke up one morning and saw that those crazy elves had opened up the sleeper sofa and had a Movie Night (they watched "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" -- reminded them of home, I think):

Jacob wasn't impressed with those -- he prefers it when the elves actually trash some part of the house.

Although he thought it was kind of cool the night that they built a Tower 'o Chairs and climbed up to the kitchen chandelier:

He totally loved the time that they wrecked the den with boxes and ribbon, and took a wild ride on the ceiling fan:

And the time they rigged up a rope, swung down through the laundry chute and trashed the laundry room:

And who can forget when those damn elves climbed up onto our wall of black and white photos and switched out pictures of Elizabeth with pictures of themselves?

Sigh. I have this sneaking suspicion that Bix, Libby and Colleen will be showing up any day now. I know that their arrival will mean more work for us, but I have to admit they are charming little buggers.


Carolina Belle said...

Bradford and Eugenie have not arrived at our house yet - We are not creative enough to come up with too many weeks of mischief for them! I'm thinking they may show up this weekend, though, so I am taking notes on the mischief that Bix, Libby, and Colleen have gotten into!!! Y'all are always so creative. :)

Jen said...

i am cracking up over the Christmas elves!!! How funny!

Lady Baker said...

Oh my God, this is definitely new to me---if you hear of any of those elves who clean the house overnight...or vacuum, or make dinner, send them my way. :) Good Luck!

Caden and Carter's Mom said...

Whew... the magic elves have not struck here in New England. Luckily, my house is still a dictatorship... at least for one more year!
They look like fun, though!