Thursday, December 08, 2011

i totally caved

i totally caved.  call me "out of the loop" if you like...because i had no idea that all this elf magic was happening all over town.  i knew that sooooome of the kids at school had personal elves at home...but i had no idea that they were writing letter's (like, as a whole class) to their elves...begging them to come from the north pole.  and then, (i'd guess from the conversation that i had with the kid's classmates yesterday at the holiday lunch,) that well over half of the kids parents trudged on out to the store and hunted down these things...because what else were they supposed to do, afterall?  and then you have the whole issue that all of the kindergarten, first, second, and some third graders think that it's a true the older grades do it too.  i could be wrong, but from what i gather, these elves show up...and move around the house while the kids are away.  (they're sneaky...those elves.)  and then...all of the kids talk about the crazy antics and mischief making by the elves every day at school.  some kids even bring their elf to school and they move around the classroom.  (i don't know how the teachers make that happen.) poor, little first grade girl was under the assumption that her elf just didn't care enough about her to actually show up.  i listened to all the kids chatter, excitedly about it through lunch and watched my little darlins stay silent.

i have real mixed emotions about all of this.

don't get me wrong.  i'm one santa hat and bad pair of pointy shoes away from an elf myself, this time of year...but i can't help but wonder how the kids...who's elves never "show up" feel at this point.  do they ask their parents why?  do they go to sleep, hoping every night that this will be the night?  do they even tell their parents that this is what is happening at school?  i know my 3 didn't.

during chase's holiday feast...the cafeteria was a-buzzin with kids and parents and bad plates of turkey and dressing.  cue a tiny, little, third grade girl...complete with glasses constantly sliding down her nose...sitting all alone at the end of a busy table.  i whispered, "would you like to come sit with us?"  she shyly scooted into the chair across from chase and i and nibbled her sandwich.  her eyes stayed on her lunch as we listened to all the kids talk of their elves.  i looked at her and asked, "do you have an elf?"

with her eyes never leaving her lunch...she shook her head no.

there is where the problem lies.

this little girl's face made me really question whether my family jumping on the elf band-sleigh was the right thing to do.

i weighed out the options heavily.  i landed on the truth that no matter how much i hate it...all of the christmas "stuff" is the same.  some kids never get a visit from santa.  some never open a present.  some never have a stocking...and some never hear the words "merry christmas."  but that fact doesn't mean that i will put a sign on my door that says, "santa not welcomed here."  the stockings at my house are still hung by the chimney with care...and rest nicholas soon will be here.

it does...however...remind me of how vitally important it is to build awareness in my children and in my church and in my community that we can not turn a blind eye to the above mentioned facts.  and to enlist them in helping out with this where they can.  even if our family provides a little bit of christmas for another makes a difference.  and more important than even that...

as fun and wondrous as it all is...

santa, stockings, reindeer, and elves are not what really makes christmas magical.

see...there's this other story.  a story that is filled with way more magic and splendor than an elf landing in our house and moving around while the kids are out.  a story about a baby...sent to rescue us.  a story about a birth...that brought everyone from the lowly shepherds to the majestic kings to their knees in worship and admiration.  that, my friends, is christmas magic.

the elves did show up last night.  but we also had a conversation with the kids about what is really important and made them understand that not all of the kids had them.  we thought about what we could do about that.  and we decided that the clarkson elves could go to school and be an elf for all the kids in their classes that didn't have one.  a "shared" elf, if you will.  and that makes me very proud of my clarkson elves.


annslee actually played with...wait for the other day.  this girl would much rather be getting into stuff and meandering around the house then playing with toys.  but...low and behold...while i was dealing with cat piss laundry the other day...i heard a little ruckus from the hall.  and this is what i found.

it's a sight that satisfies me greatly.

it's always good to have an audience.

i guess she was showin' trout how toy playin' goes down.

*  please know that i don't think that the school is doing anything wrong by enouraging or participating in the whole "elf" thing.  and i'm all about having fun with it.  really.  i am.  the opinions in the post are strictly mine after observing (very limitedly) a small group of kids and something that we are using to further educate the kids about the reality of christmas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mindy - You hit the solution on the head - as a former teacher, I SO would have struggled with how to include my "have-nots" & you created the perfect "lead by example" for your children & their school. The tiny BABE would approve of holding true Christmas in our hearts as you have done...

Cousin Denny's wife, Marlene