Christmas, family, granparent life, life

Fast Forward to Valentines…

I am on auto-pilot once Halloween hits the shelves. Perhaps, it is the teacher in me, to be prepared and organized. Or not. Probably, it is just the media hype and the retail store push turning us to Valentines day before the Christmas meal has been digested or the last political fight put to bed. Is New Years the new Thanksgiving, just a brief stopping point, before the next big show? Christmas, to me, is the big show for obvious reasons and yes, the presents that I have accumulated for months and my anticipation of my families delight. I do shopping like no other part teacher part trained personal shopper with former retail training. I am dangerous especially in handbags, they make me drool. Thank goodness I have boys. I would be broke.

We spent Christmas Eve delighting in little person toy delight and today recovering. As the dust settles, and the Valentine cards take their proper place on the shelves, my moment of true piece will be just a simple “I love you,” from both my boys before I took a well earned nap.

So with all my hustle and bustle (and I am not alone) it was three little words and our togetherness that made me feel at peace and get my engines revved up for the sales.

Christmas, family, granparent life, grey hair

Elfing Ways

A long, long time ago there was a young mother (not so young) who wanted to bring Christmas cheer to her only son and husband. Money was a new found struggle, while the hubs had a growing business thus purchases were supposed to be limited. I found “The Elf” at a house party and it was the best $30.00 (I did not have) but spent in my life. Insert the hubs daily eyerolls and daily lectures that gifts of daily love and belief of this magic elf ( matchbox cars, cheerios, Pokémon cards etc.) were not needed. Of course, I knew that, but carried on. I am the picture of moderate (comparably) Christmas spending and usually with a bit of debt and a targeted pay off date. I am money smart, in my world, just no one else’s. But Christmas must go on…and frankly no one complains. Secretly, they love it. Especially, the elf.

But every penny of ornaments, decor, stocking stuffers, and presents including those requested from Santa and the needed clothes make my clan happy. As I am the only shopper for the family, and it is all for others, I see no harm. Try to debate happiness or put a price on happiness. You can’t. I won’t. Back to the elf. It always hung on the front door to make ease for delivery or at times a quick delivery before I dashed to work. The worst days were when the kid woke up early and the elf was forgetful the previous night. He would crawl into our bed and I would logically explain the elfin route, storms in the area, and prompt him to write the elf a note and have an “extra-good” day. Boom, two gifts the next day with his traditional “Thank you Elf, I love you!” My heart would explode. And special thanks to the ASU theater department. Stories come easy. Too easy.

This went on yearly, as far as I could stretch it. It made me happy because while the gifts were trinkets, they brought smiles, hugs, and the reaffirmation of my craziness would be given. My Heart ❤ was always full and my boys were happy. Occasionally, my husband would actually remind me to get the Elf gift ready. That was akin to winning him over! Once in awhile I even caught him smiling.

But this year caught me off guard. Insert the grandnugget. Last year it was just decor. This year it is HO HO and with it came the story. Which I extended further, and further with a trip to the north pole, an elf for his room and yes, the transfer of THE Elf to my sons home. I shudder. This was not my idea. It was the hubs. He sat me down and explained how it is time to pass on the fun. I cried. This passing of the torch is killing me, but it is has to happen this year. Twenty-seven years after I created this monstrosity of love, it must go on. It is my hope that my son passes on the tradition to his grandchildren.

The passing on of the Elf is hard. It is the last right of our child’s passage into adulting, along with art and report cards, that I still have and treasure. Still keeping these! But this is magic and in the passing I am hoping that the magic will continue for decades to come.