Friday, December 20, 2013

The Holidays My Way | Keeping It Real for Christmas

Don't get me wrong, I love me some Christmas. I am a home decor enthusiast, remember? 

The lights, the fresh garland, the crafts, the perfectly decorated tree and mantle are essential. Here's this years inexpensive Sparkle.

I can't help but feel overwhelmed by Christmas especially since my kiddos are getting older. There's a lot to think about when your keeping THE BIGGEST SECRET EVER!

The Questions: My daughter just turned 7, and man does she have some questions!  At 4 years old she questioned, why one Easter bunny we saw at the mall is brown and another was white?  "Isn't their only one Easter bunny, Mommy?" Quickly, I said, "Oh honey, the white bunny must have just had his bath. They get dirty ya know-- hopping around all the time. "  

I don't care what color the Easter bunny is, but why isn't there some universal code that all Easter bunnies are a certain color and he/she has to have the same dang bunny vest on? She is very smart.  I may be smarter.  We'll see how long I can keep these charades up.  

My best advice to anyone that just had their first kid or hasn't gone down that road before would be.. whatever traditions you start, you have to keep them up and make sure you think them all the way through.

For example-- My dear neighbor once told me about this house that was in the next neighborhood over from us.. "Have you seen that house in the next neighborhood over?  It's great, there's lots of lights and I tell the kids we can go by Santa's if your good.  It works like a charm."  I thought the idea was splendid!  

Fast forward.. we have done it for 4 years now and it has been great.  My daughter must have been into the 'holiday spirit' because just as December 1st rolled around she was asking, "When are we going to Santa's?"  "We'll go tonight..  If your good," I say.   

Just as planned, the first spotting of the glorious over-done lights of the season.. We're going to Santa's house, baby!  

As luck would have it, "Santa" must have just got home from his "real job" and the garage doors were open and a bright orange Sante Fe was parked in visible sight.  My heart was beating.. What is Smarty Pants going to say?! 

Just as suspected she asked the dreaded question.. "Is this really Santa's house?"  My 4 year old then says, "Yeah, doesn't he drive a sleigh?"  BUSTED!  I quickly snap out of my shock to murmur.."The car belongs to Mrs. Claus, silly." 
Phew! That was a close one...

That darn little cute elf: As if one jolly ol' elf isn't good enough for a little fun around the holidays.. Ours is Motanus (Mo-TAIN-us), and has been with us for 3 years and is perfectly fine.  Half of the time he is a guilt catcher because I forget to move the little guy.  But for the other half, he is complete joy.  He brings candy for the kids (if they were good) every night in their fabric advent calender, he eventually leaves us a gingerbread house to assemble, and he even brings the kids a parting gift of the season.  

Hooray for the genius that thought of this trick to get all the children to listen and behave for the month of December! 

But, what about the letters that Smarty Pants writes for Motanus to deliver to Santa EVERY SINGLE DAY? One of the notes asked Santa to please send her another elf. A girl elf. With a pretty skirt. 

Desperate to keep Smarty Pants off the "trail",  I purchased said elf for $29.99. Of course the little thing didn't come with a pretty skirt, you had to buy that separate for $10.  So much for keeping the cost of Christmas crap down this year.  

So the little darling elf was delivered just like the first elf, at the front door.  The look on my daughters face when the doorbell rang and she noticed the girl elf on the box was-- priceless. Her skirt sparkled like a disco ball and she even had pierced ears.  Her name quickly became, Twinkles.  

Just so happens, the neighbor's daughter of the "Have you seen the house in the next neighborhood over?" was over after school.  Guess what she ran home and wanted? Payback comes in small forms.. We're all on our own out here people!   

I don't even know if I can come up with any more original ideas to entertain the kids for the next few days. I am exhausted.

Don't mess with a lady and her candy canes...

Wrapping Conundrum: What about the drama that comes with wrapping the Christmas gifts?  I mean Santa's paper can't be the same as Mommy and Daddy's paper.  The "to and from" labels can't be the same as Mommy and Daddy's either.  And neither can the handwriting. Or the pen color.  Did I mention that no other family member or friends wrapping paper can be wrapped in that same paper either. 

God forbid, my husband comes in at the last minute to wrap all my gifts with the same paper that the elves used to wrap all of Santa's gifts! I am exhausted..  It will be a miracle if Smarty Pants doesn't figure it out.

Shopping made easy: I remember the days when my kids were very young and I could do their Christmas shopping with them right in the cart.  My daughter was the first to fool.  At 2 months old  she didn't understand that I am buying the gifts for her right now.  At 14 months, she didn't get it either. 

The sibling came along for the ride too when it was his turn. The 10 month old doesn't care either..and the 22 month old certainly can't tell his big sister what I bought her for Christmas.  At least not in a language that she could understand.  

It was cruel when you think about it, but at the time it worked. Those were the days!   Now with 2 kids around all the time, I mostly do all of my Christmas shopping on-line.  When is Smarty Pants gonna put two and two together?  I can hear her now.. "Mommy why are there packages at the front door every day?" Are you the one that's buying all the gifts for Santa?"  This holiday season I have had to be on my toes- quick, with a reasonable response to any unclear perception.  I am exhausted.  

The Christmas Lists: At the beginning of December I asked my daughter what she wanted for Christmas?  Her list was simple-- maybe 3 things.  Two of which were sold out. Everywhere.  Are you kidding me?? I am exhausted.  And broke.  Because you will pay anything to make your child smile on Christmas morning.

The Joy: And just when you're spent from all the festivities, drained from the enormous credit card charges you know are coming and you are enervated from the hoopla to make this the best Christmas ever.  You are not done.  

You'll leave some carrots and chex mix for the reindeer's, cookies and milk for the Big Guy, sprinkle the presents under the tree, maybe assemble some large things until the wee hours of the morning.. All the while,  you may or may not have had a little too much wine with dinner.  Then just as the sun isn't up yet, a little person grabs your hand when you are deep in sleep and is so excited to see what Santa has brought them.  You jump up out of bed, run down the stairs holding hands, and watch the magic unroll.  

The squeals of pure delight that come from the children on Christmas morning make it all worth it.  And for a few minutes, you feel like a kid again. (I think it may be literally 2 minutes and 43 seconds.)  

And at that exact moment it becomes apparent why we go to such great lengths to keep that BIG secret on the down low.  One thing is for sure, I can't ever imagine my kids not believing in all of it.  I will always fight to keep the magic alive!  

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Do you have a Smarty Pants living in your house?  What great lengths do you go to to keep this secret under wraps? 


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Linking to:
A Stroll Thru Life
Savvy Southern Style
Thrifty Decor Chick
The Shabby Nest

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  1. Holly, this is a cute post! No children here, but I taught elementary school for 30 years. Oh, the questions! And not only that, you know there are always some who want to spoil it for the unknowing. ;-)
    I wager a bet that your two will always believe in the magic of Christmas because they have you for their mom. Merry Christmas!
    I'm soon to celebrate 68 years, and I still remember the joy of Christmas mornings as a child. The year Santa brought me my teddy bear and little red cash register is like a painting in my mind.

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks so much! They are asking a lot of questions and some kids are telling them things at school. I am pulling all the tricks out of my hat to keep the magic alive. :) I just can't imagine them not believing--this is one of my favorite times of the year! Merry Christmas to you and an early Happy Birthday!


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