The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Elf on the Shelf

on December 2, 2013

The last time I mentioned Christmas in ‘Have yourself a hot and sweaty Expat Christmas’, I hadn’t quite immersed myself into the festive spirit. But after a week of rain and gloomy days, I’m feeling a lot more wintry in my t shirt and jeans. JEANS you hear me? Admittedly I’ve been in freezing aircon most of the day. Plus a few Christmas ports have helped in lieu of Christmas sherry which is the favoured Christmas tipple of Mrs Steamer. She seems to have mistaken cooking sherry for sherry to be drunk whilst cooking.

Now that we have entered December I feel it is legitimately allowed to embrace Christmas with gusto. I’m not keen on Christmas decorations making an appearance in November, it’s a long stretch until Christmas Day and then an endurance test to get to Epiphany because by then my mind is already on the birthday decorations for #1.

So after fending off the incessant questioning by #1 and 2 about when is it going to be Christmas before Halloween had even spooked us by, I’ve got out not one but two lots of advent calendars to start the countdown.


Now all I get is, ‘When can we eat another candy?’
A short while later, ‘Is it time for another candy?’
‘Now can we eat candy?’
‘Keep calling it candy instead of sweets and you won’t even be allowed to tomorrow.’

I suppose time still has no meaning for small children. Like most things I say to them. They do, however, have a very clear understanding that Christmas means Father Christmas/Santa will bring them presents. If they’re good. I know, I know. What about the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the donkey? The true meaning of Christmas? In all positions of responsibility we are told to delegate so it’s quite handy that Nana Moon will be landing very soon to fulfil her first proper duty as Godmother.

I wish I could say that I have a carefully honed parenting technique that resolves disputes between #1 and 2 rapidly and efficiently promotes discipline and good behaviour. I really wish I could. So whilst I’m only just getting into the spirit of Christmas, it hasn’t stopped me from using Father Christmas/Santa as the quick fixer upper of disputes, discipline and good behaviour.

In fact, I think he’s starting to lose his power I’ve used it so often.
‘Do you really want Father Christmas to hear about this?’
‘He’s watching you, you know.’
‘He knows everything you do. Good and bad.’
‘Remember that list he’s got? He’s checking it twice to find out who’s naughty or nice.’

Until recently, I used to say that the security camera in the lift of our condo was watching out for naughty behaviour. So if #1 and 2 were fighting in the lift, I’d tell them the security guards were watching and they had to stop it and apologise to the security camera. Now it’s Father Christmas/Santa is watching. As one friend pointed out, we seem to have got the presence of Father Christmas/Santa confused with God.

Mrs Cake Pops has diversified though. Apparently there’s this Elf on the Shelf. He has no name until the family grant him one which releases magical powers that enables the Elf to fly back every night to the North Pole to report back to Father Christmas/Santa about the children’s behaviour that day so Father Christmas/Santa will know who has been good or bad. You’re not allowed to touch the Elf otherwise his magic powers will be erased forever and Father Christmas/Santa will never know you have in fact been very, very good and wouldn’t that be a shame. Sounds ingenious doesn’t it?

Except this is the Elf.


Excuse me but what the f is that? That’s not an Elf. Elves are kindly, cute and helpful looking with a tiny bit of mischief. This Elf is reminiscent of that puppet, Lord Charles manhandled by Ray Allan and not to be confused with Ray Charles as helpfully pointed out by Husband.

Elf on the Shelf is not for this household I’m afraid because quite frankly, Elf on the Shelf freaks me out. Fear is incredibly debilitating. It has more chance of making me behave nicely through fear than #1 and 2.

I’m not a fan of porcelain dolls either. It’s the face with the creepy eyes. Our Jenn once told me that a porcelain doll stood guard outside the gates of this factory in Chester-le-Street. The factory had a tall, thin chimney you could see from many spots in Chester-le-Street. She would tell me the doll would slowly rotate it’s head in the direction of anyone who said naughty words. I was five years old! Five! Do you remember that Our Jenn?

Anyways, the embers of Christmas is creating a warm glow all around us. What a wonderful time of year for children of the modern age. There’s not just one Christmas party to attend but a series of them. Today, Mrs Red from school organised the rest of us to help out with a class Christmas party at Polliwogs play gym. To socialise at school is fun but to continue afterwards? In a play gym that has slippery slopes, ball pools, zip slides and fish fingers and chips for tea? What is there not to love? And then you get cake pops and candy canes AND a present too! You should have seen the look on #1’s face though when he opened up his Secret Santa present and exclaimed ‘But it’s a girl present!’. Then #2 opened hers to find it was a boy present. Actually it was a Batmobile but in the interests of resolving a dispute efficiently, I let that one go and a happy exchange was made.

Mrs Cake Pops is not Mrs Cake Pops for nothing. She gave me a master class in the art of the cake pop this morning and I rather do admire her work. Don’t you?


Of course, one who is this creative must be talented in other ways too. She’s created this hat for a traditional Christmas Mad Hatter’s Tea Party tomorrow morning. It looks marvellous and apparently just thrown together with odd bits to hand. I tried it on. My nose was propping up the rim. Not saying anything.


So Christmas is truly on the way. The children are getting so excited and they are so sure Father Christmas/Santa will know exactly what they would like, if they’re good, that #1 has said there’s no need to write him a letter because he Knows. Yes, of course. He Knows Everything.

So I think I’m going to dig out the Christmas films now and the first one to truly mark the season is….Elf. Smiling’s my favourite.


One response to “Elf on the Shelf

  1. Mrs Cake Pops says:

    Your head is small, but full of wise and often funny words! The hat is just about to be propped on my massive ‘swede’ and there is no fear of it slipping down to my nose!! The way I look at it… A big head makes the rest of me look ‘slightly smaller’ so I can have those extra chips that we talked about tucking into on Boxing Day!! I agree, the Elf looks kinda creepy, but so far he’s doing the trick… So we’ll forgive him his looks (for now!). X


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