Thursday, December 13, 2012

Elves and Hanukkah

Max came home from school the other day looking despondent. Turned out he'd spent the day hearing about the antics of "The Elf on the Shelf" from various classmates. Apparently these elves are little trouble makers. Max wanted to know why we didn't have an elf staying with us. Oh boy. I'd managed to dodge the whole "elf" phenomenon for years now, but it looked like our blissful elf-free existence was coming to an abrupt end. I told Max we had to lure an elf and quickly looked on the internet to see how it was done.

Yahoo Answers had a helpful post that involved a bowl stuffed with tissues and a cracker left on a window sill. Sounded easy. When the elf arrives, he/she eats some of the cracker or sometimes will leave a note. One problem, Max hid the bowl so I...er...the ELF couldn't find it to take a bite. After some fast Amazon Prime shopping, we had our elf, her book and storage box here and ready to roll. Did I read the book first? No. I decided to wing it.

She left a note with her name (Snowflake) and mentioned she didn't care for crackers (ass covered) and set up shop on the sofa reading her own book and waiting for Max to come home from school. Done and done! Max was delighted. Now I...er...the ELF just had to remember to move somewhere new each night.  Time to get creative.

From my Facebook updates:

   Snowflake the elf magically appeared today. Max found her reading the book "Elf on the Shelf" here on the sofa when he got home from school. He flipped out! Then he poked her in the eye and said "These look painted! How can she see?!" Luckily Mommy is a fast spinner of tales. I haven't even read the book yet. Hope I am not making any mistakes. LOL

   Damn! I knew this elf was a bad idea. I forgot to move her last night. Just wrapped her arms around the parm cheese in the fridge. Let's see how long it takes for someone to find her. Heh heh! I hope Max wasn't bummed this morning. :/

   Me: Wow...Snowflake has a really mischievous look on her face. Max: What does misscheevous mean? Tyler: She's going to murder you while you sleep... Max: Mom?! Really?!?! (*facepalm* I'm amazed my hair isn't snow white after 11 years.) No honey, Snowflake isn't a killer elf. Max: Are you sure? She does look kinda creepy. -Note to self: Don't sneak the elf into Max's room while he is sleeping.

   Oooh! I just played the "elf" card to nip a tantrum in the bud. It worked! Maybe that elf on the shelf will be hanging around all year long. ;)

   Woke today to find a snowfort made of mini-marshmallows on the table and an epic snowball fight between Snowflake (the Shelf Elf) and Leonardo the Ninja Turtle in progress. Max flipped!

So that brings you up to date with the elf. On to other holiday happenings. From Facebook yesterday:

   Max: Mom? Why don't we do Hanukkah? Me: Uh...because we aren't Jewish, Honey. Max: Why? I want to do Hanukkah! Me: Well, maybe we can borrow your Uncle Mike's girlfriend next year and you can do Hanukkah with her. Max: No! I want to do Hanukkah now! They get presents every day! Me: Oh boy. Who told you about Hanukkah? Max: My teacher. Me: (under my breath...thanks Mrs. G.) I tried to explain how Hanukkah works, but it just made Max want to celebrate even more. Trying to figure out where I can pick up a Menorah real quick tomorrow and surprise Max when he gets home from school. Any thoughts? :D Maybe a dreidel and gelt too. He'd love that game.

   Starting tonight (shortly) we will be celebrating the 5th night of Hanukkah, thanks to Max and a friend. I suggested we also have some traditional foods but Tyler panicked and we have no potatoes in the house since I started making changes to my eating habits. So no latkes, sadly. Max and I had something else fried (a burger) to keep in the spirit of things. It's not kosher, but then again, neither are we. :D

So yes. Now we celebrate Hanukkah too. Why not? I know Max just sees it as an opportunity to get more presents. He knows how to work the system! I see it as a teaching opportunity to learn about other faiths and religious customs. Our new Menorah arrives tomorrow, but tonight at sundown Max and I watched a video on how to light it and which prayers to say when. He is looking forward to doing it for real tomorrow.

Oh and he got a new backpack for night 5 and Tyler got a Minecraft teeshirt. Max will probably raise a few eyebrows tomorrow at school when he shows off his Hanukkah gift. If you are curious, I'll post links below to the YouTube video we watched and a wiki on Hanukkah that I am using to teach about the holiday as well as show us how to play the dreidel game. Bring loads of gelt if you want to join in! *wink*

How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah

What is Hanukkah all about?

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