Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Fun and Tradition... and some crafts for the day

We had a late start to the Christmas season. Our tree went up the day after Thanksgiving, but little else happened around our house. Smith-wick just now finally appeared yesterday. You never know when he will arrive.

Smith-wick is our elf. Our elf on a shelf. We received him five years ago from my Grandma Smith. If you are lucky enough to receive your own personal elf from the North Pole then you read the story he comes with and give your own personal elf a name. Your elf reports on good and bad behaviors (naughty or nice!) to Santa every night and returns the next day at your house in a new spot. (We don't do 'good or bad' children thing, but it goes along with the Santa Christmas lore.) Children can also talk to him and tell him their Christmas wishes, which is how we use him. This part is reallly super cute: they do go up to him and talk. It's adorable.

The children delight in looking for Smith-wick each morning. Sometimes he forgets to leave and in that case the children come running to me exasperated about Smith-wick not leaving for the North Pole. I tell them the reasons he might not have left yet... North Pole is on a different time zone, there is a snow storm, he's tired, his alarm clock didn't go off...

My favorite is when I say, "Are you sure he's not there? Wait a second kids, there's dog barf in the living room...hang on...just a..."

I go clean up the "dog barf" and by the time I'm done Smith-wick has moved into a new spot. Then it's show time; "Ok it's cleaned up now! Hey what do you mean Smith-wick hasn't moved? Hey where is he, I don't see him."

Heheh. It actually works.They all find him in a new spot marveling over the fact that he just forgot to move to a different spot...or whatever. I'm not sure what they think. But they are happy and not bummed anymore.

Believing is believing. It doesn't have to make sense. It's part of the fun.

When our elf arrived I wanted the kids to name him something very special that honored my Grandma Smith since she sent it to them. I have lots of very creative, fun, fulfilling, Christmas-magic memories of my Grandma Smith. Sage came up with Smith-wick's name, which to me sounded like a REAL elf name for sure. Everyone loved it and so it was, Smith-wick joined our family. He disappears just like he arrives, unexpected and all at once.

Advent Calendars are another beloved Christmas tradition My cousin Michelle sends the children all their own chocolate Advent calendars. When a new baby is one year old she starts sending them a calendar, too. I always really appreciated this. It's really awesome because the babies really do watch and want to do what their siblings do. They totally get in on the action! As can be told by this picture.
Baby Everett gets a real treat having his first Advent chocolate with the other kids

The first snowfall of the season we have snowman pancakes and hot cocoa. I was low on milk so I talked the kids out of hot cocoa yesterday. Actually they forgot about it after I said, 'We'll do it later on.' Their idea of the first snow is often different than mine. Snow flurries stuck to the car and real snow on the ground are two different things. However, they'll start flailing about the house shouting, "hot cocoa!" at the sight of sawdust on a cold day. Regardless, another nice tradition we typically do is hot cocoa on the first snow, and snowman pancakes around the same time. And just LOOK at these faces, they just love 'em.

whipped cream for snowflakes falling

As I write this my littlest children are complaining, fighting, and need some help from their mother. One day they'll read back at this blog of our life with joy. For now I'm met with a lot of crying over me being at the computer on a cold, boring December morning. 

Lucky for them I have some crafts planned for today. Homemade snow globes,  paper doll elves, paper chains, and stringing cranberries just like I did when I was a kid. I am also making a Christmas wreath. Wait until I tell you where I got the base for the wreath. You'll never guess... 

(I got the wreath in the cemetery across the street. It was in the trash. I dug it out. Free wreath, I say.)

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