Thursday, January 5, 2017

January 5-on-5: The End of a Season

I think like most families, after celebrating Christmas for what feels like a month, the end comes with a little bit of a sigh.  The never ending list of things to get and thing to do, all in time for the big day is, well, quite frankly, exhausting.  And for our house, the exiting of our Elf on the Shelf as the holiday begins its descent, is something we make a big deal of.

If you are unfamiliar with The Elf on the Shelf, the short story is that you adopt an elf who keeps an eye on your kiddos and reports back to Santa each night for the month of December.  They fly to Santa through elf magic, which means there is NO TOUCHING of the elves, or they loose their magic and can't tell Santa how wonderful you have been.  When they return, they usually end up in a new spot, and the fun is looking for them (and the potential mischief they have gotten into) each morning.  It's all in good fun and my kiddos enjoy the hunt each morning, but after 24 days of this, let's just say parents might be ready for the elf to head back to the North Pole with Santa.

In our house, we give our elves a special goodbye hug on Christmas Eve.  After all, Santa will be there that very night, and a special Santa touch will restore the elves' magic and allow them to go home.  We also always have a gift to open on Christmas Eve.  This photographer mom decided a few years ago that a REALLY great Christmas Eve gift is nice, new pajamas to wear for Christmas morning.  Ones that aren't too short or nubby or stained or tattered.  Our girl was a little excited about getting elf pj's; can you tell?  My son was more composed and able to contain his excitement (although I did hear him comment on how they were super soft).

 Getting to hold your elf in your hands for the first time is kind of cool.  There are details you likely have missed and textures you certainly haven't had the chance to feel.

 There's also that realization that your elf is a sweet little thing (regardless of how much trouble they might have gotten in) and that you will definitely miss them.

 We make sure to leave them on the table by the door so Santa can find them easily.  This spot by our nativity scene and Bible is a pretty sure spot for finding them most Christmas Eve's anyway.  Our elves like to remind us that at the end of the season, before the presents arrive and the wrapping paper takes over, what were celebrating is the birth of Jesus.

Hopefully your holidays rounded out your year with a bang and you are ahead of us in getting your life back to some level of routine and normal.  We still have some tasks to take care of in that department, but we still have time.

Speaking of time, this circle was created to help our group of documentary photographers have a little extra love and support (who can't use that).  So, make sure to take a few minutes and circle on through.  My lovely friend Jenny, a Southern Michigan Documentary Photographer, is next in the circle.  Check out her work and give her a little comment.  We love to hear that you saw our stories (me included)!

Until next time,


  1. What a great story, Melissa! The photo of your daughter jumping is fabulous. Your children and you will cherish these photos for many years to come.

  2. I love little glimpses into the traditions of other families.

  3. I love they get to hold the elf at the end. Good idea!

  4. I agree with Melissa! I enjoy learning the story behind other family's traditions. Thanks for Sharing!