I don't know about you, but I lie a good half a dozen times a day. And I am damn good at it, too.
My nine year old, who is probably enjoying his last Christmas a true believer, has decided to make me an even bigger liar than I've been for the last thirteen years. He came home from school one day begging for an Elf on the Shelf.
LORD, HELP ME.
As if hiding gifts until Christmas morning isn't stressful enough (you should see what's being stored in the trunk of my husband's car), now I have to move this elf around every day and make it clever AND buy more candy?
But how can I say no when he makes that kind of case for having one? Like I said, this is probably his last true-believer year. I had already lucked out and missed the first thirteen days of this nonsense. So, what did I do? What any good
My son was almost stumped that first morning. He came in my room bright and early to inform me Buddy was a really good hider. We came downstairs and I encouraged him to pack his lunch and look for Buddy in his older brother's room after his brother woke up. He actually stood in the pantry a good minute or two before he noticed the thing was hanging there right in front of his face! But he was thrilled to have a story to share at school that day.
Cue Day 2. My thirteen year old decided at 9:30 that night that he wanted to help. His brother had gone to bed and he wanted to be in charge of moving the elf. Having already scoped out Pinterest for the day, I informed him my plan was for Buddy to zipline across the family room. He was all over that. He strung some twine across the room, hung Buddy, and marveled at his excellent execution of my idea.
Until his brother was standing at the bottom of the stairs, rubbing his eyes and complaining about not being able to sleep.
The little one returned, horrified. "WHAT IS BUDDY DOING ON THAT STRING?" My husband tried to play dumb, at least I think he was playing, but my true believer would have none of it. No one was supposed to touch the elf. It said so in the book that came with him.
My oldest, having learned from the master, decided to do what every caught-red-handed parent has done. He lied. He stepped out of the room where we were hiding and took the blame. He claimed he was watching a show about ziplines and wanted to make one. Buddy was the only thing he could think of to use. He was very convincing.
After the nine year old yelled and cried that the magic had been lost, we sent both boys to bed - the older one properly scolded for touching the elf "without permission" and the younger assured an email would be sent to Santa explaining the mistake.
The zipline was dismantled and I had to come up with another idea. Since my older son had so brilliantly taken the fall, I decided to keep that theme going. That led to this ...
The next two days went much smoother. Buddy played poker with some of the stuffed animals (my husband thought I spent too much time on the inappropriate Elf on the Shelf sites that day) and he brought some M&Ms and hung from the foyer chandelier (Mom couldn't possibly gone shopping for candy in the middle of the night!)
At the same time, my youngest son has never been happier. He hops out of bed every morning with that twinkle in his eyes, excited to see where Buddy is and what he's up to. He can't wait to go to school and tell his friends where his elf was found. And the look on his face when he tells me about Buddy's antics are worth every white lie I've ever told. The innocence and the love of Christmas magic is something we only get to truly experience for such a short period of time in our lives. I hope he remembers how it felt so he can grow up to be as good of a liar as his dear old mom.
Do you have a Christmas magic story to share? Comment with the biggest lie you've told or been told this time of year and you could win a copy of my book, The Weather Girl and I'll even throw in one of these fun little ornaments. One commenter will be chosen at random.
Happy holidays to you and yours!