Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Larios-Mendez Family. May you feel as blessed as we do this holiday season.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Perfect Letter To Santa

To a child, Christmas means toys. A LOT of them. And the biggest concern for them is whether they will get the ones that they spent all season writing to Santa for or not. And try as you might as a parent to teach them the true meaning of things, they will never fully understand what you are talking about until they're 20 (Unless you're one of those lucky parents who have perfect and selfless children).

My oldest boy is no different.

Don't get me wrong; he knows why we donate to those less fortunate, that spending time with the family is the "best gift", and the true reason to the season; and he does get excited about all of those things, but the second that tree goes up there is no stopping the flow of what he'll be asking Santa for.

So when Felix (our Elf on the Shelf) left him paper to write a letter to Santa this year, I expected to see a list of 20 or more toys that would make me laugh because there's no way in Hades that he'd get most of them.

What I didn't expect to see was this:

Yep, you're reading that right. It's a letter asking Santa for what every member of our family wanted this holiday season. From the material objects that appeal to his brother, his father, and himself to the want of his mother to have her whole family together for Christmas (which hasn't happened in over 5 years).

Remember what I said about him being all about toys and not taking anything I say to heart? I take it all back. What kid thinks to ask Santa for a gift for everyone in his family when there's stores FULL of things he's spent the year thinking of?!

Apparently, mine does (spelling mistakes and all). And with enough care that it brought me to tears upon reading it. 

It's times like these that tell me I'm not doing such a bad job as a mom. I may lose it completely and become a certifiable nut case from time to time, but I must be doing something right. And, who knows, maybe next year he'll ask for world peace (which will most likely leave me a blubbering idiot. After all, he's only 6).

Have your kids done anything this holiday season that has (or almost has) brought you to tears? Anything that's made you feel like you're doing your job right after all? Have they asked for something completely unexpected (good or bad) from Santa this year?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Elf that Came Out of the Closet

Since last year there has been a list of things I've looked forward to for this Christmas season; from putting up my tree in front of my big picture window, to hanging stockings from my fire place, building snowmen in the front yard, and doing the Elf on the Shelf with my children.

Yes, I'm one of those; which I'm sure you've figured out by the influx of Elf pictures on Instagram and Twitter.

But really, this has been something I've been thinking about and planning all year. So much so, I actually created a secret Pinterest board of ideas so no one would steal them from me (don't worry, the board is no longer secret, feel free to steal away).

So when we finally got to say goodbye to Thanksgiving and bring in everything Christmas I was (literally) jumping for joy.

December 1st we welcomed our Elf, from then on named Felix, who decorated our home for the holiday season; tree, garlin, and pine cones galore.

December 2nd he watched from on high...

 And on the 3rd he dumped an entire bag of powered sugar on my counter and made snow angels (insert "Awe" here)...

The 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th he got a little lazy and just hung out while still keeping the kids guessing as to what he'd be doing next...

How fun right? Doing a little something everyday that brought smiles to my children's faces and kept the magic of Christmas alive in their hearts? What could be better? Best Mom award goes right here.

And so the magic continued.

Felix kept surprising us everyday and the boys practically flew out of bed in the morning to find that he had wrapped the pictures in the living room to look like presents...

 ...and had decorated the kitchen in paper snowflakes...

But my joy and planning of the next few days' elf activities was about to take on a whole new meaning when my son starting asking some peculiar questions about our elf's' daily habits.

On the day of the snowflake surprise (which had taken me 3 hours to do the night before) my precious Tyler looked up to me with a questioning expression on his sweet face and asked, "Mom. Why does Felix decorate so much? Isn't he a boy? Boys don't decorate."

Dumbfounded I looked at him. What is he talking about? Boys do too decorate. I have several male friends that decorate, but they're all....ugh oh. What was a mother to do so early in the morning? Before her first cup of coffee?

"We don't judge Tyler" was all I could come up with. And just like that our dear, sweet elf from the North Pole came out of the closet.

I suppose there were better ways of handling it and had they happened later that day, the conversation probably would have gone much differently. But alas, it did not. It was not intentional. I just forget how to be June Cleaver in the mornings; with all her perfect answers to life's questions.

So now I'm going with the line of thinking that there is no better way of teaching acceptance to my child than by using the magic of Christmas. If for no other reason than to keep the Mommy guilt at bay.

But, honestly, I'm perfectly happy with having a Gay elf who likes to decorate. What better way to teach my children a valuable life lesson and make my home overly festive around the holidays without much effort?

**Have you been celebrating Elf on the Shelf with your kids this year? What crazy antics have your elves been up to? Have you found your elf experience to be fun or way too time consuming? Let me know! I may steal your ideas for next year.**