Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One week until Christmas - The Season of LIES

Christmastime is often referred to as the season of giving. Some may call it the season of joy.  In my house, I refer to it as the season of lies.

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.
Some of you may be appalled. Disappointed in me, at least. Lying isn't the first thing you think of when discussing the holiday spirit.  But if you are a parent of a child under the age of, let's say ... ten, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

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.
Everyone in his class has one.  Everyone gets presents and candy from theirs.  Everyone has these hilarious stories to share about how naughty or funny their elf is.  His best selling point was this - "You won't have to do a single thing, Mom. The elf flies to the North Pole every night to tell Santa if I'm good and then hides himself and brings me candy. You don't even have to buy it! He brings it from the North Pole!"

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 sucker mother would do. I bought one. Ours is named Buddy. The first night, Buddy chose something simple. He hid in the pantry, drinking syrup.
I'd like to take this moment to thank every mom out there who has nothing better to do than think up a million different ways to hide their elf, take pictures of it, and pin it on Pinterest. You've been both an inspiration and the death of me. I hope you're happy.

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.
For some reason, my gut reaction was to run and hide. So, that's what my oldest and I did. Unfortunately, that left my husband on the couch with the elf dangling above his head. The little one mumbled something about daydreaming and ran upstairs to get his glasses because his eyes must have been deceiving him. While my oldest and I silently fretted over what to do, my husband continued to watch TV, completely unfazed (must be nice!)

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 ...
Buddy defaced all of my oldest's photos with devil horns, mustaches, and the word NAUGHTY. It was perfect. The little one was very impressed with Buddy's handwriting and so thankful the magic was still working.

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!)

Needless to say, it has been exactly as stressful as I thought it was going to be. I have lied more than I ever thought possible. I have encouraged my older children to lie and even threatened to withhold gifts from my daughter who wants to tell the truth SO badly she can barely stand it.

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!

34 comments:

  1. That is just hilarious Amy :)
    The naughty pics Buddy made of your oldest is just to die for, I'm literally laughing out loud.

    I think that the biggest "not talked about" lie in our house must be how much time and money I spend when Christmas shopping :)
    My husband is on a need to know bases and HE SO DOESN'T NEED TO KNOW.
    I love everything about this time of year especially the sneaking around, lying and fooling stuff <---- I'm weird like that HaHaHaHa
    Marry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your family *mwah*

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    1. Thanks Jess. I love your lie. My husband also has no idea what my Christmas budget is. He usually is just as surprised as the kids when they open their gifts! Merry Christmas :)

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  2. Amy! This was too funny! Boy, the holidays are a blast at your house LOL. I can't believe I haven't heard of the elf on a shelf. And of course, I'm already getting your book and can't wait to read it, so don't enter me in the drawing ;).

    And on another funny note...my kid who is now 13 was in love with a weather girl when he was about 4 years old. Seriously. She was on The Weather Channel (we still remember her name) and very blonde (guess taste develops early lol). He would sit and stare at her, totally taken, and comment on how beautiful she was. It got to the point that he wanted to know what time she'd be on. Your book title reminds me of his 'weather girl' first crush ;).

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    1. That is so adorable, Rula! His weather girl sounds EXACTLY like mine. He would love Summer if she was real, for sure. So exciting to be debuting together!

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  3. I so enjoyed your post. Hilarious! I am so glad my kids are adults. LOL

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    1. Thanks Tara. Sometimes I can't wait for them to grow up and sometimes I want them to be little forever!

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  4. *ded* - crying and laughing at the same time. I love your stories. Little Who is definitely still a believer, hubs went out late into the night after a discussion we were all having about Santa a couple of years ago, he rang bells and stomped around so she would think it was Santa out there messing with his reindeer. We didn't even know if she had heard it or not until she couldn't stop talking about it the next day. I love it to death and Big Who may or may not still believe, but she always goes along with it anyway and I love her so much for that. EXCELLENT story and PS we did NOT buy that elf this year. Dodged that bullet some how. :)

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    1. You are so lucky, Jo! I blame all the parents around here who succumbed before me. And I think Super Dave/Santa Dave is totally awesome for doing that for Little Who.

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  5. So funny. I think everyone in your family is getting more joy out of Buddy's antics than you let us believe.

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    1. Oh, Buddy is making an impression for sure! Thanks, Roz :)

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  6. Last week I got a text from my daughter asking if I had bought "the Elf" for the grandkids (3, ages 11,9 and 7). I replied "No, it creeps me out." A few minutes later my phone rang with the 9 year old thanking me for NOT buying it for them. She had just returned home from a sleep over and an Elf was in residence there. She insisted that the Elf was watching her the entire time she was there and it was made her feel creepy. I laughed the rest of the day and every time I see one in a store.

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    1. OMG your poor granddaughter! I do think it is a little creepy. The kids were saying other people have woke up to him beside their bed. Now that is a mean parent!!

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  7. LOL Now I FINALLY know what's the deal with the Elf! My kids (almost 9 and 7) believe, and the hardest thing is to make them ask Santa for exactly what I've bought for them :) And don't forget the Tooth Fairy! Once I forgot about it, and then had to lie my ass off to make up a plausible explanation why the Fairy didn't come! Happy Holidays! <3

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    1. Oh Olena! I can't believe you don't have one. Your kids are the perfect age for this madness. And I totally agree with you on the Tooth Fairy - whoever came up with that one is not my favorite person in the world ;)

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  8. Lol Amy, I feel your pain! We got the elf for my son as well. He named him monkey poopy doo. Don't ask LOL. I have no explanation for that kid:) anyway, you are amazing with hiding him lol. We are lucky to remember to move him from one shelf to another every night lol.

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    1. Monkey poopy doo? I'm not sure I want to ask! I think you need to get on Pinterest and up Monkey's game, that's all I'm sayin'!

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  9. Amy - How fun for all of you! And bless your older boy who is anxious to help and doesn't mind having his photo defaced. Thank you for educating an old girl. I've heard the term 'Elf on the Shelf' but didn't understand what it meant. I'd have loved that when my kids were young. I don't remember lying - not that I'm above that - I always brought things home already wrapped because our oldest son could find anything anywhere.

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    1. You knew how to do it right, Muriel! I always end up wrapping Christmas Eve and stressing someone is going to come downstairs and catch me. So far so good, but you never know. After this last elf debacle, I won't be taking any chances!

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  10. I'm an angel and never do a bad thing cause I like being on Santa's nice list but I sure do WANT a copy of The Weather Girl and that Ornament needs to be on my tree. :)

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    1. I'm going to refrain from commenting what I'm thinking right now. LOL We all know how innocent you are, Corie. PERFECT angel. Good luck in the drawing :)

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  11. this is so cute. i am, however, glad my daughter is grown; santa was enough to deal with. your oldest is a doll for taking the fall, he's learned creative story telling from the best!

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    1. Thanks, Margey. I think I have taught them all the art of telling a story. That's a much better way to put it than lie. ;) Happy holidays to you and your daughter!

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  12. I read this out loud to hubs and our kidlet. We all had a good laugh at your elf antics. We dodged a bullet with the elf's. Our son isn't a believer anymore and while its sad, I'm glad we don't have to deal with an elf. They kinda creep me out. LOL!!

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    1. Glad I could entertain the entire family, Amanda! Seriously, this elf will be the death of me. He's hiding in a plant today because I was too lazy to be creative last night. :)

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  13. As I was reading this my son asked me what was so funny. I was crying I was laughing so hard. So he sat beside me and starting reading along with me, laughing as much as I was. This makes me want to run out and buy one for my grandkids.

    Let's see, my daughter was in first grade. My Size Bride Barbies were the big thing back then and she wanted one bad, but we really didn't have an extra $150 to spend on one. She came home from school one day and announced some of her classmates were saying Santa wasn't real. She argued he was and she'd prove it. Well, she sat me down on the sofa and explained her logic as this... If Santa was really real, he'd bring her a My Size Bride Barbie for Christmas. My heart dropped. I just couldn't let her not believe at that age, so I had my brother charge one on his credit card and paid the monthly bill on it. My mistake was leaving it at my brothers for her to open. *SMH.* She looked at me asked, "Why did Santa deliver her doll to the wrong house." I quickly explained Santa knew she'd be visiting her uncle for Christmas and left it there. She's 24 now and I'm still not sure if she ever bought that little white lie. After Christmas that year I starting thinking I got conned by my 6 year old just to get one.

    The things we do to keep the Christmas magic alive for our kids.

    Sherry Neal aka banshee69

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    1. The My Size Bride Barbie was $150!
      My son wants Star Wars Lego Death Star. It's a cool $400. He's more likely to get the barbie. LOL

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    2. LMAO Sherry! I love your story. Doesn't it make you wonder if she really pulled one over on you? I often have to try to convince my son to ask Santa for things I know I can deliver on without him knowing I'm influencing his decision. It's not an easy task! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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    3. Sherry! You won! Please send me your address to me at vastine7@gmail.com

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  14. This story made me laugh so hard!! I've also been driving around with presents in the back of my SUV bc my naughty daughters peek also *does 2 finger thingy at you*. I dodged the elves, but have thoroughly enjoyed your son's (and your family's) fun with yours LOL!!! You tell great stories. It's sad to think it's the last year of being a believer.

    When my kids were small, back before the Iphone (showing my age here)...I wanted to get good honest reaction pictures to what Santa had brought. So I would tell them I had to go out in the living room and look to see if he was gone so they wouldn't "get scared" and I'd run like heck and get the camera ready! Loved those sweet moments with them and would spin the dial back if I could.

    Enjoy these precious times, they are irreplaceable. xoxox
    Merry Christmas my ESM!
    Nic~

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    1. Oh Nic - I'm glad I made you laugh, I love that you used to do that on Christmas morning for that perfect picture! So cute. I have those kind of favorite moments too. The year my oldest got Hulk Smash hands was one of my favorite, He was so genuinely amazed that Santa got him what he wanted it was adorable. Thanks for checking in :)

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  15. Amy,
    We're doing the elf this year, too, for the first time. Ours is named Rudolf. We forgot to move him one day and told our eight year old that Rudolf just happened to land in the same place.
    I didn't get the memo that sometimes the elf brings candy. Hmmm, the eight year old needs to finish homework from his absence tomorrow. I wonder if bribery will work?

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    1. The elf is PERFECT for bribery. That's the whole idea of him. He flies to the North Pole every night to report if the kids were good or not!! But the candy helps, of course.

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  16. Amy, Your adventures with the Elf are too funny! Thanks for this great story. My kids are in college so we didn't have this adventure. But I love that sense of magic. I invented a candy fairy who came to our house erratically. So convenient for me. When my kids started preschool, they came home very skeptical, no one else reported on a candy fairy. But of course, I explained. No one else is from the Swiss Alps, the candy fairy only visits those lucky enough to be from there. Another moment of fun for me was the visit of a Native American story teller. For the discussion, they needed to bring a story to school about where our ancient ones are buried. Thank goodness for Nova. My kids reported on Ötzi the Iceman, a stone age man found frozen in the Swiss Alps.

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    1. That is so cool, Laura! I'm going to go Google Otzi the Iceman right now. I must know more. And the candy fairy is too funny. But they always have to check with their friends, don't they? My youngest is mad we don't get visited early in December by St. Nicholas because some kids in school get candy from him. And then there are the leprechauns who come on St. Patrick's day to his friend's house. I'm ready to call that mom and tell her enough already! I can't compete.

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