Maintaining the Façade is Hard Work
Recently, my ten-year-old daughter reprimanded me about the Tooth Fairy failing “two nights in a row!” Then she looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Mom, you owe me two dollars.” For a second, I sat stunned. Then I yelled down the hallway, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” The Tooth Fairy showed up six hours later with a note explaining her delay, written in special Tooth Fairy cursive on the dollar bills. The Tooth Fairy is not going down without a fight.
I suppose this could be the beginning of the end. But I’m not ready for that. I’m gearing up for the most magical time of the year, and I’m going big! I have a love-hate relationship with our Elves on the Shelf (yes, we have two). I hate them in theory, but in truth, I’m kinda obsessed with them. I’ve sewn them sleeping bags with tiny pillows, built an igloo from a milk jug and cotton balls, and staged epic marshmallow battles in the wee hours of the night. I have several Elf boards on Pinterest, Elf clothes, and the corresponding movie. All the tiny things Elves need, I’ve got ’em. I also have excuses for when they are unable to move because a mom cannot remember everything all the time. Elfie and Peppermint have become part of the Christmas magic. And even if my kids are old enough to figure it out, I’m not convinced they want to. They love it – every single crazy bit of it.
Believing in Christmas Magic Against the Odds
School friends tell them that it’s all pretend. Some even say that Santa is not real. But they continue to believe, despite all the noise suggesting otherwise. I know there will come a point when things change. I know that they are growing up faster then I’m ready for. But for goodness sakes, can’t we just let them be little for a while longer? I don’t care if it means moving the Elf every night, using special “Santa” wrapping paper, watching the Reindeer Cam religiously, and leaving out half-eaten cookies for Santa. I will do whatever I can to keep these traditions alive – to bring a little Christmas magic into the holiday and to make my kids wonder a little longer.
Why do I continue to cling to these silly traditions? Why do I love special Christmas pajamas and Christmas Eve ornaments and stockings stuffed to the brim? I guess because this was my Christmas magic, left behind by my parents who wanted to keep the wonder alive for me. In turn, I’m hopeful that my own kids will carry on their magic to the next generation. I want them to experience it from the parent perspective, and to burst with joy on Christmas morning while watching their little’s eyes light up.
The Joy Outweighs the Annoyance
One day, they’ll know where the gifts come from. Even so, I don’t think they’ll mind. Heck, maybe they already know and they’re just humoring me (which is totally possible). Whatever the case, I’m not ready to let go just yet. When my middle schooler crosses over, I’ll just enlist him to be one of my helpers. And when the youngest two figure it out, I’ll probably cry. Being the magic maker is something I’ll never take for granted. After all, creating family traditions and having holiday memories far outweigh the small annoyance of thinking of another spot to move the freaking Elf, right!?