Sunday, December 15, 2013

Buddy the Elf & Other Christmas Advent Activities

Well, we finally broke down this year and got an Elf on the Shelf.
I had not been the biggest fan of it in the past.
 My kids were a little young and I didn't really know how I felt about the Elf watching you and reporting your behavior to Santa every night.
 Kinley started to ask about the Elf this year because most all of her friends have an elf.
 So, I decided to start the tradition our own way.
We typically do little family advent activities each day during December leading up to Christmas so our Elf was just going to add to that a little.
Day one our Elf arrived to Ty's room on top of his little Christmas tree. He brought the book and movie and a letter from Santa. The letter basically just tells Kinley and Ty that Santa is sending this elf to help teach them the true meaning of Christmas each day. He tells them about Jesus' birthday, that Jesus loves them very much, it is better to give than receive, and that each day the elf will bring them a fun advent activity to do as a family or to serve someone else.
  IMG_8428 IMG_8429 IMG_8430 That first moment few minutes for Kinley was sheer joy.
She was literally shaking with excitement. She wanted to call all her friends right away to say she got an elf too! We immediately read the book, named our Elf "Buddy," because she has seen the movie "Elf" with Will Ferrell, and watched "The Elf Movie" twice.
Quickly after that things started to go
Ty was great with it all but, Kinley was scared. She didn't want to go near Ty's room where he was on the tree. Kinley decided she did NOT want Buddy to go into her room or Ty's room at night. In fact, she didn't want him flying around our house at ALL.
She woke up about 5 times on night one saying she was scared of the Elf.
And in the morning she did not even want to see where he was.
I was ready to quit right there....
Let's return the Elf....
 Let's tell Santa you don't want and Elf....
This Elf is NOT the meaning of Christmas anyway...
 I am only doing this because you thought you wanted one! 
But, she tried to be brave and I am all about helping her learn to be brave and face her fears.
 She said she still wanted an Elf and still wanted to do all the activities each day...just not let the Elf fly around.
Ty was still super excited about the Elf so she said it would be ok for me to get Ty first to find Buddy and then I could put it away before she saw him.
For the first couple days she wanted me to take a picture of where the elf was before she went to find him to decide if she wanted to find him herself or for me to just put him away.
Very quickly she realized if she "touched" the elf all of his "magic" would go away and he would not be able to fly.
So, that is what we decided.
  Even though none of her friends can touch their he can fly around and go visit Santa each night, we can because he is not allowed to fly in our home. 
We have politely asked him to stay seated and only relay to me each night where he would like to be so "I can move him."
On December 24th we will put Buddy in Kinley's stocking for Santa to take back to the North Pole.
Then, next year, when Buddy comes to visit, if we let him, he can fly around our house again.
It was amazing how easy it was for Kinley to believe.  When I told her that we asked Buddy not to move anymore and that he wouldn't and I would do it...she looked me straight in the eye and said "Are you telling me the truth?"
I said..."I Promise!"
Her childlike faith is astounding. 
That's why I want to make sure she can trust me and that as a parent I will do my best to lead her to trust in God who is so worthy of her all her faith.
It is also interesting that when Buddy could fly around and move himself, it was scary to her.  But, the minute she could hold him and play with them, she gave him a life of his own.
So far Buddy the elf has ended up bringing so much joy to this season for us already. We are all excited each day to see where he might be and what activity he has planned for us as a family that day.
His second day at our house he hung from a chandelier and asked us to build a Christmas countdown chain together so we could count down the days until Christmas together. We made one for Kinley and one for Ty so that each day they can each pull off a ring.
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He put on a piano concert for some of our favorite stuffed animals and told Kinley and Ty to wear matching Christmas PJ's and read The Christmas Story.
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Where's Ty???
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oh hey...
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Buddy lined up a parade of cars and told us to go to the Grapevine Parade of Lights but....that was cancelled thanks to the Ice were most things.
He must have known it was cold outside...because he wanted us to Make Hot Chocolate.
Thank goodness we had sweet friends in town to drink our hot chocolate with...
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He instructed us to make Christmas cookies and a Gingerbread house. This day, we had fully turned the corner because Kinley walked right over to Buddy voluntarily and said, "Thank you Buddy for bringing us a Gingerbread house."
It was super icy still so we had to cancel playgroup but, we still had those that were closest by come over, if they could, to make cookies with us.
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That night Kinley and I worked on the gingerbread house together. I am not lying when I say she pretty much did this completely on her own. Ben "constructed" the house and I helped her roll out the fondant and place the reindeer on the roof (her vision) and do the scalloped roof icing...but, she did everything else.
 All the candy and other icing she did on her own!
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We lost one gingerbread tree to Ty but, other than that, I think she did pretty good!
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Buddy thought it looked so good, he decided to stay there for the night!
  And the next morning he told us to go to the Gaylord Texan for Christmas festivities!  
We started at Gingy's with our playgroup friends and decorated gingerbread families.
Honey came too because we had plans to go to see the ICE exhibit afterward with too with Dad and Boss.
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Some decorated...and some just wanted to eat :)
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Both of my kids concentrate with their tongue out...
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When I was going through these pictures I was flipping pretty quickly on the computer and all of the sudden Kinley just burst out laughing so hard.
I was like...what??
She said...go back to Ty's mean teeth....
This?...No. IMG_4636
This?...No. IMG_4635
And then we were both laughing for a while. Oh Ty.
 I think he just wanted to save a good smile for Honey.
And then, those that wanted to, got to meet Gingy!
He was a hit with some but, not others.
It took Ty a bit to warm up to him but he ended up giving him a high five and getting in the group pic...Notice Kinley is missing. Honey held her outside Gingy's house. She was not going anywhere near him.
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Ironically, the Ice Storm caused the ICE exhibit to be cancelled. Apparently, the ice was so heavy on the tent that it was about to collapse and they have been working to clean it off.
Darn the Ice Storm!
Cancels everything.
Story of my life.
So, instead we just ate dinner at the Gaylord and walked around and looked at all the cute Christmas décor they have up.
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I can't wait to see what else Buddy has in store until Christmas!

1 comment:

kristen said...

yalls buddy is SO MUCH FUN!!! I love him and that sweet brave girl you have there. She is so brave and so good at facing her fears. Kinley you are an example to me! I love you! and Ty Ty and even his mean teeth!