This post originally appeared on my Lessons Learned from the Flock blog . I’m including it here on this blog for a few reasons. First of all it’s a holiday post and if you’re a mom you’ll recognize the spirit in which it was written. But another reason it’s here is that one question I am constantly asked is how do I come up with enough ideas to be able to write up to 8 blog posts a week?
My answer is that is in order to do this you have to pay attention to what’s going on and then you have to use that material in a creative way. There is a children’s storytelling game that consists of several dice on the sides of which different items and topics are written. The object of the game is to roll the dice and then come up with a story that includes all of the elements you’ve rolled. (I’ve also done this with my kids using a set of “item bingo cards.”) It’s a way to force creativity.
I write about chickens, kids, and the lessons learned, lately there have been a series of “naughty elf posts” from parents who are a little fed up with the whole “orchestrated Christmas thing.” The roll of my imaginary dice came up with “chickens” and “that damn Christmas elf” – from there it was simply a matter of letting things go where they wanted to go.
So go ahead, those of you who can never come up with ideas. Create some imaginary dice with topics on each side (some you know about and some you don’t) and then roll those dice and see what comes up. It’s all about combining ideas in a new and creative way and then putting your special spin on them.
Ho, ho, ho.
For those of you who don’t have children or for those of you who are sane (basically the same thing) there is a relatively new Christmas phenomenon that’s hit the streets of which you are probably unfamiliar. It’s called the Elf on a Shelf and in a nutshell, an elf (one of those creepy ones from the 1950′s with the plastic face) sits on a shelf in your house and while your children sleep, he returns to the North Pole and reports back whether the kids have been good or bad. Apparently this goes on for the entire month of December.
Now as if spying on your kids and tattle-telling isn’t enough, apparently this elf moves from room to room each night causing mischief. Some of the mommy blogs are listing creative ways to have the elf make mischief, all in the name of good Christmas fun – switch all the clothes from one closet to another, make cookies IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT and leave the dirty dishes for mom in the morning…
Oh that naughty elf.
I’m going on the record as protesting. As if us parents don’t have enough to do during the holiday season, now we’re supposed to perpetuate the story of a little being who reports back if your kids lost their temper but then feels free to wreck havoc in MY house?
Get Santa on the phone, something’s not right.
Some parents are rebelling, I’ve seen the elf in an orgy with naked Barbie dolls, I’ve seen the elf with a toe tag in the refrigerator, and I’ve seen the elf with a hangover on the toilet (extra credit if the vomit looks like a peppermint swirl.) And while that is SOOO my sense of humor, I’m going to take the high road on this one.
A few summers ago, I actually picked up two of these disturbing elves (you know you have the real ones when their eyes look sideways) at a yardsale. I wanted my kids to see what passed as acceptable holiday decorations when I was a kid.
“Mom, they’re creepy. I’m not touching those things” said Addy.
Yeah, I know, but since then, as a tribute to the 1950′s (and let’s face it, because I get such a rise out of the kids), we’ve had them in the branches of our Christmas tree peering out at us when we gather round. Each year we dig them out of the box and place them as far into the tree branches as we can so that perhaps, if we squint our eyes, we won’t be able to see them. But we always know they’re there – the monster under the bed in the tree.
Yesterday we took one of the elves down and brought him into the henhouse (Why let the kids have all the fun, why not tell Santa if Zelda is picking on some of the youngsters, or if Morganne has taken the fatest sunflower seeds first, again?)
Here is the elf sitting in the feed. Apparently the chickens feel the same way about the elf as does Addy. No one wanted to go near it.
Here the elf is riding a chicken, what fun he will be able to report to Santa tonight. I’m not sure chickens have the ability to be pissed off but if ever there was a case of “if looks could kill” I’m thinking this one would certainly qualify.
And lastly, here is our beloved, creepy elf, just minutes away from learning what the term “pecking order” really means.
Rest well, and give Santa our love, little buddy.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens).
No elves were harmed in the making of this post, our elf has been returned to our tree and has been squished back into the branches along with his Christmas twin where he belongs. What? You think I’m going to take any chances with Santa this close to Christmas?