We’re in the thick of it, you, me, all of us. This is a busy time of year for everyone, and it’s my busiest time of year for illustration projects as I get a good number of holiday card orders and a few drawings for gifts, plus other things unrelated to the holidays. Almost all of my free time goes to work right now, so thank goodness for online shopping!
I brought out the Elf on the Shelf after Thanksgiving – it’s his second year with us. I thought maybe this year I could coax Miles into naming him, but I think this concept still eludes him. Things have names already – this one is named Elf on the Shelf. It says so right on the book! Last year he liked looking for him each morning, but this year he kept saying “I don’t like the Elf.” Each day I would ask the Elf to please go away when we weren’t looking, and he did. But then on the first of December the Elf started leaving treats for the boys in their advent calendar, and suddenly he is a welcome presence in our home. Huh!
Julius is the cutest each morning when I ask where the Elf is and he confidently shouts “deh de dee!” (there he is!) while pointing to the place he saw him yesterday… pause… hmmmm… then runs through all of the places he’s seen him before, looking adorably befuddled.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Every year I kind of dread it because Mike always has to work (a half day – the mail never sleeps) and I have to cook and get the kids ready by myself. Ugh. But then it always ends up being fun. My kids love their Nebraska family, and this year it was even better because the Wisconsin wing came into town. I love, love, love to see my kids play with their cousins. It’s the best. Miles is still talking about the things his cousins did that made him laugh.
On Thanksgiving morning Miles asked me if I had a Christmas tree with lights. Sure do, buddy! We put it up the next day and every day they admire their favorite ornaments. We have the kind of Christmas tree that is covered in mementos, old keepsakes and new.
It’s cliched but true that kids bring a whole other dimension of joy to the holidays. Not only is everything new and magical to them, but it rekindles all of the best memories of your own childhood. Drawing on the traditions you most loved as a child and sharing them with your own little ones (for me – holiday cookies and treats, advent calendars, decorating the tree, being with cousins) makes you feel connected and part of something greater than yourself. I’ll admit, I can Scrooge it up with the best of them at times, but in the end I do savor this time of year and the memories we’re making together.