You know, I’m all for the magic of imagination, tradition, and wonder. The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus.
But this is getting a little ridiculous.
Cuddling with my oldest son before bed one October night, he told me how excited he was about the Great Pumpkin.
“Um, the Great Pumpkin?”
“Yeah!” says Jackson, “he brings presents. I put a note in the fireplace with a piece of candy. He’s going to bring me a fandoogle cause that’s what I asked for in the note. That’s what Olivia did and she got one!”
Ah huh. (When I get my hands on the person who started this…)
Fortunately we dodged that bullet because apparently the Great Pumpkin doesn’t come unless everyone is in bed and asleep at 7:30pm. So I got a day’s reprieve. But the next night we didn’t get home from baseball until 8. Tears, drama, boo-hooing and ‘He’s NEVER going to come!’ echoed through the house. But what do you know, the next morning, three little presents for three adorable boys. Whew.
One problem: The present wasn’t a fandoogle (I might have found one if I had any idea what it actually was). Jake writes another note, adds more candy, thanking the Great Pumpkin for the gift but this time he would please like a fandoogle.
Yeah, if you think I’m going to do this every night for the whole month of October you’re nuts. The Great Pumpkin left his own note saying – sorry, only one gift per kid, try again next year.
And now it’s November. A few years ago our family got a Christmas ‘Elf’. Though he looks like a stuffed doll he is in fact a magical creature that arrives at Thanksgiving in order to keep an eye on the children until Christmas, watching to see if they are being naughty or nice and reporting back to Santa each night. Due to all this midnight travelling he finds a different spot each morning on his return, to perch and observe, usually sitting up high where he has the best view. The children get up each day anxious to see what new spot he has found.
I should say, he is ‘supposed’ to find a new spot each morning. Often our elf decides that the spot he had the day before suited him just fine, thank you very much.
Recently I have heard that some elves are being mischievous, getting into the pantry and making a mess, taking all the books off the shelves, getting out toys in the middle of the night. Our Elf (the boys have named him George) – he and I had a little heart-to-heart. I explained to him that if he in any way contributed to the mess already created by my family of five, the dog, the cat, the visiting neighbor children and all the other creatures who make their way through the four walls of my house that he would find himself disemboweled and turned into a pillow.
And now, the latest: my sister has just reported to me that her elf is becoming very hungry. Yesterday he ate a wagon wheel, a pile of animal crackers, a fruit bar and a banana, all before 10am. Well, the elf might not be that hungry anymore but I bet my sister is going to put on a few pounds.
I’m all for magic and wonder. I’m all for maintaining the bubble of childhood for as long as possible. So am I wrong to think that diluting ever single event with a magical creature is a little over the top? Magical creatures that make messes they don’t clean up, eat when it’s not meal time and sneak out in the middle of the night?
I’m just saying. It’s not my idea of a good role model.