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Elf on the Shelf and Santa… to partake or not to partake…

For as long as I can remember, I am talking early teens, I have always vowed that I was going to be the parent who didn’t go with the whole “Santa” thing. When I was younger, I would joke that it was because I wanted my future child to be the kid in kindergarten who tells all the other kids that Santa isn’t real. The thought of that always amused me.

As I got older, I realized what a jerk my younger self was, but despite the change in my reasoning, I still debate about the whole Santa thing. Not to sound righteous or pretentious or anything like that, but I think Santa is an excuse to bribe kids into being good for the last month of the year. I think it complete takes away from the spirit and meaning behind the holidays, and I am just not real cool with that.

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I get this might be the naivety of being a new mom, but I feel like I can instill in Turner the meaning of Christmas, the true meaning and purpose behind the holiday, while still showering him with gifts. I don’t feel like I need a big jolly stranger to help me get the point across. I understand that a lot of parents do the whole Santa thing because they want to experience the excitement and awestruck wander the myth brings around the holidays. That is magical and special, and I love that as well. So I am torn. Of course Andrew has different views, and he tends to be the boss, so any hesitation I have will be defeated by whatever the boss says, but still, I can’t help but think that buying into the whole Santa thing, without a healthy balance and education of Christ’s birth, is doing my child a disservice.

I am sure Santa will be a prominent name in our house as Turner grows up, I just hope that he grows up with the understanding that it is for fun, a game, and doesn’t carry any weight.

I also am confident, that as we introduce Santa, we will introduce the Elf on the Shelf. Turner actually already has one, and I am pretty excited about it. We haven’t opened it yet, Turner is only a year and half and would have no concept of what it means yet. But maybe next year. Regardless, I think it is fun. I want to introduce the little guy, but once again, I want it to be about fun and a family tradition, kind of like baking cookies or watching a Charlie Brown Christmas.

Also, I get that the Elf on the Shelf is a new thing, can we please take a second to think about how much money the creators have made?? But anyway, so the Elf is new, and Facebook is the first thing everyone thinks about… but I am not the biggest fan of parents sharing what their elf is up to every single night. Ain’t nobody got time for that. If you come up with a super cute, creative, activity for your elf… then I get it… please share so other parents can get inspiration, but each morning my newsfeed is filled with pictures of Elves taking Hersey Kiss or peppermint poops.

Maybe I am just a bad person. But I just don’t love that. Even typing this makes me feel like the Grinch.

I think my main concern with Christmas is that I am afraid that I won’t be able to teach Turner the significance of it, when there are so many other things like presents, elves, Santa, reindeer and other nonsense that dilute the real meaning. Sure I can tell him the story of Christ until I am blue in the face… but can that compete with a magically pooping elf who causes cute little trouble and a big jolly guy who magically flies around the world and brings presents to all the good little boys and girls? I really hope so, but unfortunately, I am not convinced.

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Turner’s first Christmas is in the books

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday with their families. We certainly did! With Turner being only seven months old, I didn’t expect much out of his first Christmas. He can’t really open presents, the lights of the tree didn’t really awe him, and we couldn’t play any fun Elf on the Shelf games, but despite being skeptical, it was a wonderful first Christmas.

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My house currently looks like Santa threw up on it. The Christmas tree, which is still up, has spread pine needles all over the floor, we have toys and clothes scattered all over the place, and left over cookies and food is stuffed in any cabinet we can find. I think the mess is a good indicator of how much fun we enjoyed as a family and let everything else go.

Our amazing family and friends got Turner more toys than he could possible ever even realize he has. He may be able to give each one of them at least one good play by next Christmas. He was definitely spoiled rotten.

I was afraid of what this Christmas would be like, considering it was the first Christmas since my dad died. I was really afraid I would be sad and not be able to enjoy all that I have been blessed with, but I wasn’t sad. I felt comforted, as if my dad was right there with us. Last Christmas my dad got Turner a set of rattles. I saved them and this Christmas wrapped them up and let Turner open them for himself. It was nice to still have a piece of my dad here. I plan to of course save the rattles and have threated Andrew with his life not to throw away the box. Since dad died before Turner was born, those toys were the only thing my dad was ever able to get for Turner. They are more important to me than I could possibly ever explain. After Christmas with my family, I went to my dad’s gravesite. I wanted to take Turner there, but he was sleeping so I went by myself. I haven’t found full closure yet, but being able to go there and talk to my dad helps a little each time.

Andrew said for the beginning that he wanted one of Turner’s big gifts this Christmas was to be a rocking horse. So Andrew picked one out and even though Turner has some growing to do, I can tell he is going to love it. I also love the fact that Turner can save it and give it to his own child one Christmas. I am a lush for things like that.

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Presents weren’t the only thing Santa brought this year, he also delivered me a nasty cold. I am not quite over it yet, as I sit here hacking at my desk, but I am definitely on the mend. Luckily, Turner has seemed to pretty much avoid it other than some congestion that has him frustrated.

All in all it was a perfect holiday from start to finish. Time with family and friends is the perfect medicine for the soul. Without a doubt, this Christmas has reaffirmed how blessed I am.

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Oh, and tomorrow hopefully I will have time to post photos from Turner’s seven month, New Years themed birthday party we are throwing him tonight!

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My little santa

I happen to be in the office today, and while I do not have enough time to write a full blog entry, I wanted to share this perfect picture of Turner in his Santa outfit. I am just so in love with this little boy!

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My sister took the photo, she is a progressional photographer, check out her page: https://www.facebook.com/RubyPeoplesPhotography