How we made some Christmas Magic

Growing up my parents didn’t have much money, but my Dad had about as much imagination as it was possible to have. In many ways he was a great Dad, he made us laugh ridiculously hard on a daily basis. At Christmas time he sprinkled his special brand of magic around the house.

In scenes unheard of these days, our house did not have a single decoration up until Christmas Eve. My brother and I would toddle off to bed, leaving the house as it always was, save for a few Christmas cards dotted around the lounge.

Christmas morning would come, we’d tumble out of bed to find stockings hanging on our doors. We’d either sit together conspiratorially in one of our bedrooms and open our stockings together, or open them separately, then compare notes.

But under no circumstances were we allowed downstairs. If one of us did creep down for a look, there was nothing to see. Father Christmas had used his magic rope to tie the lounge and dining room doors shut and only my Dad was able to open it. If we gained entry without our parents, we were sternly warned that all the presents would disappear. No one wanted that!

Once my parents were awake (or awoken at some hellish hour) we were allowed into the lounge. The door would swing open and we’d burst in all excited. Father Christmas had put the tree up and all the decorations while we were in bed. Not only that but under the tree were presents for everyone. It was a Christmas miracle!

What I now know and realise is, it wasn’t Christmas magic, it was my Mum and Dad working their arses off from 8pm decorating the house, wrapping the presents and starting to prep the Christmas dinner. No wonder they looked extra awful come Christmas morning and no wonder when after only having 2 or 3 hours sleep they were less than overjoyed at having two excited children bouncing on them until they got up.

They were legends, their Christmas Eve efforts made everything much, much more magical and realistic for us. So I was determined to inject some magic and mystery into our family Christmases.

I’d love to do what my parents did, but that’s an incredible amount of hard work very late in the day. Plus a lot of people think you are stark raving mad if you’ve not fully decorated your house by the 1st December these days. So we’ve struck a balance.

On Saturday we went to Wythenshawe Community Farm and bought our tree, a very handsome 7 footer. We propped the tree up in a cool corner in the kitchen with a promise to decorate it tomorrow.

That night he had an early night, so we sprung into action. The Christmas tree was put into position, decked with lights, baubles and treasured decorations. The mantlepiece was decorated and our stockings hung up, lights and garlands were strung everywhere.

We were exhausted, but the house looked lovely. Our last act was laying out some decorations and a note from Elfie our Elf on the shelf saying she’d not had chance to finish decorating the tree and could the small boy put the last few decorations on.

Morning came, he woke us up and we all went downstairs (hubs sneaking down first to put all the lights on). The small boy walked in and was stuck dumb with wonder. He jumped up and down and said “the tree, the tree!” And then inspected everything with a look of pure joy on his face. After a few minutes he said “is it Christmas time now?” And my heart melted.

Christmas magic

THAT is what Christmas is all about. We found true Christmas magic on Sunday morning. He’s utterly delighted that Elfie decorated the tree and we love that we’ve created some actual, real magic for him.

Christmas isn’t about presents, giving and receiving, or vast turkeys wedged in the oven. It’s about magic and love. It’s a beautiful thing to believe in magic, because it does happen, even if it’s manufactured by exhausted parents. Merry Christmas x

Elf on a Shelf – December 8th – 14th

We’re doing the whole Elf on a Shelf thing this year, so far it’s a huge hit. We’re enjoying setting it up and the small boy is enjoying finding out what Elfie has been up to each night. I wrote about week one here if you want to have a look at what else Elfie our elf has been up to so far.

On Monday 8th December we found Elfie in the bathroom, she’d been writing on the mirror using toothpaste, even though she’d been very naughty we all thought it was very funny!

Elf on a shelf

On Tuesday we woke to discover Elfie had found some colouring books and felt tips. The cheeky Elf had been colouring in, so when he woke up, the small boy helped Elfie to finish that page. He thought Elfie was very, very cheeky!

Elf on a shelf

On Wednesday Elfie had had a quiet night and we woke to find she’d found a quiet corner and written his name in smarties. She can be very generous when she wants to be. Bless her.

Elf on a shelf

On Thursday we found Elfie in his bedroom, all of his favourite soft toys were gathered around listening to her reading a Christmas story. We then all snuggled in the big bed, had some breakfast and read the story together before school.

Elf on a shelf

On Friday it was the small boy’s Nativity Play and he was a King. Elfie had heard his news, so we found her tucked up in a cupboard wearing a crown and eating gold coins. Elfie is a King too!

Elf on a shelf

On Saturday we discovered that Elfie had been up to her old tricks again! She’s a little daredevil and we discovered her abseiling down from the light in the lounge carrying some candy canes. Silly Elfie!

Elf on a shelf

On Sunday we woke up to find that Elfie had put the tree up and decorated the whole house overnight while everyone was asleep. It was brilliant and it saved Mummy and Daddy so much hard work! The small boy loved that the house was full of Christmas magic. Elfie had worked so hard but hadn’t quite managed to finish everything in time, so left a note asking the small boy to finish putting the last few decorations on the tree. Elfie is so lovely.

Elf on a shelf

Elf on a shelf

Elf on a Shelf – December 1st-7th

Love or loathe Elf on a Shelf, it’s something we’re embracing this year. I first encountered Elf on a Shelf a few years ago, one of my American cousins was doing it for her children. Back then in my pre-child days I thought it was a bonkers idea, but now I have a small boy of my own we’re loving it.

On 1st December a mysterious, yet beautifully wrapped parcel appeared, attached was a note from Father Christmas. He was very busy and unable to keep an eye on the small boy during December, so he was sending “Elfie” the elf to keep an eye on him. Despite being one of his favourite elves Elfie, we were warned, was cheeky and might get up to mischief while she was staying with us. Cheeky Elfie!

One signature of Elfie’s mischief is that she leaves a sprinkling of snow wherever she goes in the night. It must be when she returns from the North Pole after visiting Father Christmas each night. What a messy elf!

Elf on a shelf

On 2nd December we woke up to discover that Elfie had been playing with the small boy’s beloved train track and she’d also brought with her a liberal sprinkling of “snow”.

Elf on a shelf

On 3rd December Elfie got very cheeky and rolled a toilet roll down the stairs, not only that she’d got tangled in it at the top and right at the bottom she’d left a handful of magic money (chocolate coins) as a special treat.

Elf on a shelf

On 4th December Elfie obviously got a bit thirsty and we found her in the fridge drinking his milk. Naughty Elfie had left a sprinkling of “snow” outside the fridge too.

Elf on a shelf

On 5th December Elfie decided we needed to add a bit of festive cheer to our as yet undecorated house, we came downstairs in the morning to find she’d strung up some lights at the window and got herself tangled in them too!

Elf on a shelf

On 6th December we discovered Elfie in a marshmallow bath, she looked happy enough and seemed to have had a good soak. The marshmallows didn’t last long either!

The small boy was by now getting the hang of waking up to discover Elfie’s adventures.

Elf on a shelf

On 7th December the house awoke to a mess, Elfie had discovered the scissors and had been busy in the night cutting out snowflakes and sticking them all over the house.

Elf on a shelf

Elfie has been wonderful company so far this month, we’re really looking forward to seeing what other mischief she gets up to!

Are you doing Elf on a shelf?