Let me just get it out there: we do “the elf thing.”
This is our second year and we enjoyed the sense of anticipation our girls exuded as they wondered when MacKenzie and Poppy would return.
We love the joy it brings them each morning to discover what these two little elf imps did the night before.
But let me be clear: this is our “elf thing.” It’s not anyone else’s. It’s not intended to inspire guilt or invite snark. It’s intended to share joy and invite delight for those who need it.
And this year, that’s us. That’s me.
Because this year, Christmas feels different. I’m not sure why. I don’t know if it’s the challenging personal circumstances or the autism spectrum challenges or the increased financial strain to meet new needs with therapies and other appointments.
All I know is that it doesn’t feel like Christmas and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been writing about and focusing on Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus and the appearing of angels and the worship of shepherds.
And it’s one of the reasons I’m thankful we adopted the elf tradition last year. It provides a sense of wonder and consistency.Our elves aren’t creepy; they’re cute.
Our elves aren’t messy; they’re playful.
Our elves aren’t here to keep our girls in line; they’re here to keep them company and inspire joy.
And, honestly, our elves bring a sense of security for my autism spectrum girl.
Even when the few holiday events that we attend as a family go seriously south and end in tears and meltdowns, MacKenzie and Poppy are waiting for their glass of ice water and their two crackers and their sprinkling of magic snowflakes that will bring them to life after all of us are asleep.MacKenzie and Poppy are waiting for my girls and their love, their excitement, their delighted giggles.
Last night we visited the nearby horse park with my girls’ favorite carousel to participate in their Christmas event. My girls looked forward to it all week long because we hadn’t been there since October. And my sweet seven year old girl was thrilled to ride the carousel again.
But things didn’t go well.
I can’t tell you exactly why. I can tell you that small bumps in the road for another child became insurmountable obstacles for my sweet girl. Too loud whooping and hollering from the spinning tea cup right behind her hurt her ears. On a different turn on the carousel (the final one that we hoped would redeem the imperfect previous turns), the music was turned off mid-ride so that the carolers didn’t have to compete with the sounds of the calliope.
In an effort to find a sense of peace, I sat on the grass beside my girl and her elf. I took Poppy and had her do grass angels beside my sweet girl, inviting her to lie on the grass beside Poppy and look at the evening sky. Before long, my girl was smiling again, giggling and holding her elf.
Last night, she opted to sleep with Poppy and forego the night’s elfcapades in favor of her elf’s comfort.
So, there it is. We’re an elf family. And now that you know, I hope we can still be friends.
Merry Christmas and Happy Elfcapades to all!