Wednesday, December 7, 2011

~Elves, Mischief and Rats Oh My~

So it's been awhile since my last entry. Sad feelings of losing a loved one take time. And the Christmas holiday is rough enough without having to miss our MeMe. The kids miss her and haven't learned a healthy way to express those feelings. Heck, who am I kidding? It's really hard to even pinpoint what exactly those feelings are when they creep up during the supposed "Most Wonderful Time of the Year". And just how do you teach your child what is appropriate when those feelings of anger well up so quickly and harshly?

A friend has invited a couple of Santa's elves to stay over the holiday season to "Spy for Santa" per se. The premise is they are supposed to be watching the kids for the report back to Santa on whether it's a naughty or nice kind of Christmas. I saw the box for "Elf on a Shelf" in Target a couple of weeks ago. And I must admit I did a double take..thinking "Is this really what it has come down to"? The box set comes with one posable elf figurine that you get to name and a book. At the time I thought it was another typical mass produced overly materialistic form of celebrating Christmas. Now mind you.. I have been studying and participating in a book group over the excellent book "Christmas is Not Your Birthday". And this has made me very mindful to react to Christmas this year as if I were looking through Jesus' eyes. And so maybe my halo has been a little tight of late as well.. it won't be the first time mind you..

However, I have now completely changed my mind. And I will be the first to admit that I never understood the true premise of this cute little elf. Where I thought it was a ploy to preach and poke your kids into good behavior equals better or more gifts, it actually is not that at all. This little elf while the kids are thinking he is the utmost of spies for the Big Man, he gets into tons of mischief, trouble and mayhem. It is an excellent way to take the pressures off of the holiday season and the incessant and inevitably painful countdown to Christmas Eve that only a giddy child can get..into a season of fun and joy. MeMe Loved Christmas. No I mean she really LOVED Christmas. She would get so much JOY out of watching the kids open their presents. She felt like she showed her love best by giving. It was the way her mother was to her. We always thought it was extremely excessive (ok.. not to the rugrats of course) and we just wanted to spend time with her. But that is what made her Her.

So I got to thinking today about how we can best remember her. And I know that every holiday from this season forward will bear painful witness to our loss. But then I got to thinking about how much she loved to laugh and spend time with her family. And the more I think about it.. the more I LOVE the idea of our very own little mischief elf. What better way for the little hoots to awaken every morning to see just what kind of mess and trouble our little spy gets into. See he/she has decided that The North Pole is very boring. After working so dang hard every single year after year banging out toys and wrapping zillions of gifts, a change is needed. And what better location than Central Texas? So he will become our seasonal adopted family member for a little while. I think that MeMe would be smiling down upon our little hoots as they giggle, laugh and wonder in delight as to how our house becomes turned upside down. And I personally can't wait until I can finally let lose and pay these little heathens..oops.. I mean rugrats back.. for all they havok they rendered. What comes as this little guy.....

Can quickly turn into this: Haha.. underwear was hung by the chimney with care!!

and this: Who knew? Halloween all over again?

and this: Oh yea.. can't wait for Those sugar blues to hit~

and even this: And as Eddy Murphy always proclaimed so well on SNL "Celebrity Hot Tub"

And my personal favorite..Oh how I get giddy just thinking of painting my little hoot's nose red:

Yes I do believe that we could use some humor this Christmas Season. And maybe just maybe..we will also be kinder, gentler and nicer and who knows.. Maybe we will find that it really isn't all about us all anyway now is it?

And we now come to the part of the blog where I must admit the truth. Yes.. everything I wrote is true and accurate. But I must devulge the real reason I decided to blog about this here and now. While I was conducting research on whether I really wanted to do this or not, and all that it entailed.. the very best.. and I mean BEST product commentary from an actual customer made me giddy as little hoot over the thought of presents galore. The following is just to damn funny not to hoot hoot about.. I (I thought my family had some wacky traditional rituals and thangs going on)...

The customer recommendation went like this:

We had the same tradition in our family when I was growing up, only it was called "Rat You Out" and the Elf character was a huge black scary sewer rat with sparse hair and glowing red eyes named Dexter. Every night at bedtime my brother and I were told to stay in bed or Dexter would come and eat our toes off. Every December 1st we were told that Dexter was hiding somewhere in our house for the duration of the holidays and spying on us while our parents went next door to play Canasta with Jocko and Bootsie Felisherman. If we didn't behave, Dexter would report back to our parents AND Santy Claws, and if Santy Claws got three bad reports that kid would have their ears clawed to shreds and get no toys for Christmas.

If we made it through Christmas, then on December 26th until the end of summer we were sent outside to find Dexter. Whoever found him got a candy bar, but even though we searched night after night until dawn, we never found him. But it was a delightful hide-and-seek game, just like this Elf one so I know your kids will like it, plus it gets them out of the house for hours on end and you (the parents) get some peace and quiet from all the loud fighting that is called "sibling rivalry" by most psychologists although ours called it "These siblings are hopeless here's your money back don't call me ever again".

My brother of course grew up to be a top-notch rat exterminator, so this can be called an educational toy with great practical benefits for young boys. I grew up to fear rats, darkness, beds, toes, Christmas, Santy Claws, earrings and ear muffs, canasta and anyone named Dexter. I have a job as an Avon lady, but I only sell lipstick (no red) and a few of the toys (no dolls or stuffed animals, sorry). Call me if you need anything, but not if your name is Dexter or if you have uncovered ears. Thank you. Happy Holidays.

And that my friends is priceless.. So just how can I resist? An elf has got to be way cheaper than the poor kids who grew up and are still forking over vast amounts of moolah on professional counselling. Here's hoping I can score my elf tomorrow in my hunting and gathering expeditions and won't have to resort to a rat name Dexter!!

Merry Christmas Ya'll!!

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