Buddy The Elf…

A couple of years ago I discovered something known as ” Elf On The Shelf”.  I’d never heard of such a thing before, and found it by accident on the internet.  “Elf On The Shelf” is a new kind of holiday tradition.  It consists of a small stuffed elf who comes with a storybook explaining about the “magical”  elf, who is sent by Santa from the North Pole.

I’m still a kid at heart, so I was both intrigued and thrilled by the whole concept of a little elf coming into one’s home at the start of the Christmas season–to sit on a shelf and spy on the child’s behavior, then report back to Santa at the North Pole each evening.  I was sold on the idea, so I promptly had “Santa” send an “Elf On A Shelf” to our granddaughter, Madison.

The “Elf on the Shelf”  arrived at Madison’s house shortly after Thanksgiving, complete with a letter from “Santa”.  Madison’s family decided to name their magical little elf “Buddy”.  Buddy spent the entire Christmas season in Madison’s home keeping a watchful eye on her behavior.  During the night, Buddy would quietly move around the house (with the help of Madison’s parents) to a different vantage point for the following day.  Then on Christmas Eve Buddy quietly disappeared.

Last year Buddy returned on the day after Thanksgiving.  Madison was four years old by then, and she was very intrigued by Buddy.  Buddy spent the entire Christmas season spying on her–and having a few adventures along the way!  Madison never knew where she was going to find Buddy each morning.  He might be sitting in the Christmas tree or sitting in Barbie’s car!  She began each morning searching for Buddy.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Madison tell where she found Buddy each morning, and was a bit sad when he left again on Christmas Eve.

Madison anxiously waiting for her mom to open the box from the North Pole

Last Friday morning it happened again!  Just like clockwork, Buddy the elf arrived from the North Pole.  Madison and her mom brought the box over and showed it to me when it arrived.  That crazy elf has already been busy spying and rambling again.  Just the other day I saw him sitting in Madison’s Christmas stocking!  There’s no telling where he’ll go next–or what he might do.  Of course we all have to be careful not to touch Buddy or he’ll lose his “magic”.

Buddy has safely arrived to spend the holiday season at Madison's house

Apparently the “Elf on the Shelf” craze is becoming quite popular.  I’m thrilled because the “Elf on the Shelf”‘s creators are fellow Georgians!   This year  the “Elf on the Shelf” had his own television special, in addition to his own website!  Facebook is even buzzing with parents sharing the adventures of their children’s little seasonal visitors!  Apparently, some elves can be quite adventuresome during the night.

I wish there had been an “Elf on the Shelf” when my own children were growing up.  Oh the fun Ed and I could have had with him!  If you aren’t familiar with “Elf on the shelf”, you can learn more  by visiting HERE  The site also includes some fun games to play at “The North Pole”!    It really makes me want to be a kid again…but I guess I’ll just have to settle for being a grandparent!

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 10:05 am  Comments (6)  
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Tuesday Blog Hop…Favorite Christmas Memories

Cast members of one of the Anderson Programs

Back in 1982,  a small family of four people made a very selfless decision.  They decided to do something special for the community at Christmas instead of buying each other Christmas presents.  That decision was the beginning of one of my all-time favorite Christmas memories, “The Anderson Christmas Program”.

Every member of the Anderson family was exceptionally talented.  Apparently they also knew other people in the community who were talented as well.  Their first show had a small cast consisting of their family, and just a few cousins and  friends. 

The house that the Andersons lived in looked somewhat like a “storybook house” and made a perfect backdrop for their program.  The family designed and painted other props for the program and placed them in the front yard of their home.  The members of the cast paid to have their own costumes made, and spent many hours rehearsing for the program.

The Andersons had a professional musical soundtrack made for their program, bleachers were brought in, and stage lights and spot lights were set up in the yard.  It was an impressive production.

Beginning a week before Christmas through Christmas Eve, The Andersons held 2 shows each night.  Thousands of people came to see those shows, and each year the shows got bigger and better–and it was absolutely free to the public! 

The Andersons Christmas Program continued each year for about ten years, then it ended.  Our family never missed a show!  Some years we even went to see it twice.  It was so impressive to see the talent that lives here in our small town.  Many of the cast were small children–so talented and cute!  It was impressive to think of the hard work and sacrifice that all of the people involved in this project gave of themselves each and every year for so many years. 

The Anderson children have grown up and moved away.  I never go by their house that I don’t think of all of the years of Christmas entertainment that their family gave us.  Those chilly nights… sitting in their front yard…with my family… watching an Anderson Christmas Show is definitely high on my list of favorite Christmas memories!  

Just an interesting note:  the Anderson’s daughter, Oshja, went on to win the title of “Miss Georgia” in 1999!

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Published in: on December 21, 2009 at 11:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Top Five Activities That I Enjoy The Most At Christmas/Giveaway

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, so it’s going to be tough to narrow down to five favorites.  I’ll give it a try…

1.  Decorating Christmas trees.  I love each and every one of my ornaments that I’ve spent years collecting.  I take a lot of time every year finding  just the right spot for each ornament.  It actually took me two days to decorate the main tree this year, but I enjoyed every minute of it!

2.  Displaying all of my Christmas Collectibles all over the house.  The worst part is deciding which ones to use, and which ones not to use.  I love every doll and village piece, and feel like I am a “traitor” when I leave one in the box at Christmas.  I am at the point in time where I leave more in the box than I display.

3.  Playing Christmas music.  I love all kinds of Christmas music, and I play it from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day.  I have collected quite a variety of cassettes and CD’s over the years, and I try to play them all at least once each Christmas.

4.  Wrapping Christmas gifts.  I love to pick out the paper, bows, and tags–then wrap the gifts up.  I tend to put it off more these days though.

5. Attending Christmas functions–cantatas, children’s programs, musicals, light displays, etc or watching Christmas movies.   All of these types of activities really put me in a holiday mood!

Many years ago shopping would’ve been high at the top of my list.  When my children were young, I was a serious Christmas shopper,  and had all of my gifts bought by the end of October.  Now that my children are grown, we don’t buy gifts for the whole family, so Christmas shopping has dropped to what would be number 6 on my list, if I had a number 6.

How about you?  What are your 5 favorite Christmas activities?

I will be running a tw0-week giveaway for a ten dollar Wal-mart gift card.  This is due to the heavy volume of mail and the busy time of the year.  Just leave a comment any time during the next two weeks and your name will be entered in my drawing to be held on New Years Day.  I will enter your name every time that you leave a comment, whether it’s 2 or 20!  Have fun–I love your comments!

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Published in: on December 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm  Comments (10)  

Tuesday Blog Hop… Our Christmas Traditions

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, so I am thrilled to write about my family’s Christmas traditions.  Now that my children are grown and some have families of their own, our traditions are different from what they used to be.

One new tradition that we started about 3 or 4 years ago was to stop buying presents for each family member.  With some of the family being newlyweds and some starting a family, money was getting to be an issue.  We got together and decided to make a game out of exchanging gifts.  Each lady in the family buys 2 lady’s gifts with a limit of 20 dollars each.  The men do the same thing.  On Christmas day we put the lady’s gifts in one pile and the men’s gifts in another.  Next we each draw a number.  Number 1 gets to choose and open a gift.  Number 2 can choose a gift to open or steal the gift from number 1, and so on until all have had a turn.  The larger number that you have, the larger your selection of pre-opened gifts to choose from.  We have so much fun with this game, and everyone ends up with 2 nice gifts each, plus nobody has to spend a fortune on gifts.

my oldest son trying to open a gift wearing gloves

Actually one of our favorite family traditions began a couple of years ago on Christmas Eve.  Our family, along with our son-in-law’s family, get together and serve finger foods. After we eat, we play a variety of games and laugh until we can’t stand it!  One of the games that we play is called “Pass the Present”.  Music is played and everyone passes a present around from person to person until the music stops.  The person holding the present puts on a funny hat, gloves, and then tries to open the present before the music begins again.  I wrap my presents very well–with lots of tape, and usually several layers of paper.  Sometimes a box is inside of another box.  This game is so funny!  We get lots of funny pictures, too.  The person who actually makes it to the gift gets to keep it.  Sometimes it may be a gag gift.

my son-in-law and his dad in their santa suits made from tissue paper

Last Christmas Eve we tried a new activity in addition to our games.  We divided into teams and competed to see who could make the best looking Santa in 5 minutes–using only tissue paper and tape!  The picture above shows our Santa suits.  I thought they turned out pretty good, and it was such fun.  I can’t wait to see what activities we will come up with this year.

My advent calendar

I began a  personal tradition of my own a few years ago when I purchased a collectible Hummel Advent Calendar.  I love opening the little doors on my Hummel Advent calendar, finding an ornament there,  and hanging one on the tree each day until Christmas.  On Christmas Eve the tree is completely decorated.  I like to think that when I pass away, someone will take my advent calendar and continue the tradition for me.

That pretty much sums up my family traditions, except for the holiday baking and candy making that we do.  It wouldn’t be Christmas without spending a few hours in the kitchen making goodies.  Our family loves to eat, and Christmas is the perfect time for that!  Have a nice day, and thanks for stopping by…

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Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 12:51 am  Comments (4)