This weekend I was prodded into dragging all the tubs of Christmas decorations out of the crawlspace so as to deck the halls. Usually I'm running around trying to get everything up ten days before Christmas but this year was different. Last year I purchased the very cute, and worth it's weight in gold, Elf on the Shelf book and little elf. My kids dubbed him Max William and raced out of bed each morning to see who could find him first. Max William would report back to Santa each night on the kids' behaviour and hence he was a fantastic little reminder that someone is watching. All I needed to do when things got hairy around here was glance over at where ever Sir Max was seated and it was enough to dispel most disagreements. I loved Max William and his magic, but he had to disappear Christmas Eve so I packed him up with all the rest of the Christmas paraphernalia. The kids missed his little presence too and asked about him occasionally. I reminded them (and myself) he would come back the morning after Thanksgiving.
Wouldn't you know, my little PDA (also known as Teresa) muttered as she snuggled to sleep Thanksgiving night that she couldn't wait to see Max William the next day. Oh Shit! I was exhausted, not to mention stuffed as full as the turkey I had just helped consume, and I realized I had no choice but to crawl into the attic crawlspace to drag out the Christmas tubs and search through them to find our personal elf. Not wanting to be the one to kill the magic for my kids, I thumped into the crawlspace on my hands and knees, waving my arms in front of me every foot or so, just in case of spiderwebs don'tcha know, and then crawled back again dragging a tub out with me. I did this four times. And yes, I waved my arms ridiculously each and every time because the spiders could be there, you never know. I found Max William in the box he was hiding in and perched him up on the chimney pipe and went to bed.
The first thing the kids found the next morning, after Max William, were the four tubs of Christmas decorations, which is why we decorated a bit earlier than usual. We actually don't have very much in the way of decorations. We have ornaments for the tree and stockings and lights. We have some homemade trinkets my children crafted at school and daycare. I have a few little village houses I line up on my kitchen windowsills and some silly singing mice. We also have four nativity sets. My parents gave us a set where the figures are quite big and also quite breakable. In fact, Sam's first Christmas as a walker, he broke several, so that set hasn't seen the light of day since. We also have a Fontanini set that I like to add to. Right now we just have the stable, Holy Family, Wise men and the drummer boy. Eventually I hope to have the whole cast of characters. While this set isn't breakable I really don't like the kids playing with it so I purchased two little creche sets just for them. Fisher Price's Little People Nativity set was the first and then I got them the Playmobil version. These toys get played with non-stop from the moment they come out of the tub.
The kids call them the "Jesus sets" and they fight over who gets to be whom. Today as I was making dinner they were playing with the Jesus sets in the living room. Sam likes to be the animals. He started out mooing, baaing and making some noise that he supposes a camel would make. But you can only convey so much with barnyard sounds, so Teresa had the angel sprinkle pixie dust to make the animals talk. Hmmmmm, I think they are getting the Bible and Disney a wee bit mixed up. Baby Jesus was quite the little trouble maker. He wouldn't stay in his manger and teased all the animals incessantly. In fact Mary had to come out of the stable hollering "JESUS!!!" as often as I seem to do. At one point, Mary announced to the shepherds, Joseph and assorted wisemen and animals that she was going in to do her hair and they needed to keep their eyes on the baby Jesus. Oh, the brouhaha when Joseph hollered to her and she had to stop what she was doing because that baby had climbed to the top of the stable. She actually told the Son of God that he had to climb down IMMEDIATELY if he wanted to continue to be a member of the Holy Family. Their version of the Christmas story may not be very accurate and could even be considered blasphemous but oh, my Lordy, is it ever funny. I think they should take the show on the road.