Ever since we've had several children and no money, Christmas is my least favorite time of year. Which is ironic because growing up, it was my favorite. It was especially my favorite as a teenager, a college student, and then a young single adult teaching school. Even our first four or five years of marriage, there was something magic about this season. My birthday is on the 21st, so that's another reason I always loved this time of year.
When I was in school, I was involved in orchestras and choirs and the music was so wonderful this time of year. I also started mailing my own Christmas cards when I was in high school to friends who lived far away and that became a favorite part of Christmas.
But establishing traditions of our own as we've added more children to our family has become burdensome to me. I know Christmas isn't about how much you give and it isn't about how many fun things you do, but it sure feels like it sometimes. I remember when I was growing up, my parents would often become grouchier this time of year, and I always thought to myself, Just relax, Mom and Dad, this is all supposed to be FUN. Now I'm on the other end of that pistol and I can completely understand why my parents, particularly my mother, did not enjoy the holiday season the same way I did back then.
This year, there's this popular little thing to do that EVERYONE, and I mean, EVERYONE, is doing. It's called Elf on the Shelf.
I'm not doing it. Hadn't even heard about it until the first of December when one of my Facebook acquaintances posted a picture of their elf. I thought it was this clever little thing that she'd come up with (she's that type of person) but then I saw pictures of people's elves popping up all over Facebook. Honestly, it's not the idea of the Elf on the Shelf that bugs me; it's the pictures that everyone is putting on Facebook. It's like, Look at me, look at how awesome I am that I'm doing this for my kids for Christmas! To me, it would be the same as taking pictures of the decorated houses you drive around at Christmas time to see the lights and posting those on Facebook. Look at these awesome lights! Isn't this a great tradition, driving around looking at lights?
And then when I mentioned on Facebook that the "Elf on the Shelf" stuff was annoying, I shot myself in the foot. I think I will now be shunned by all members of my ward because I don't do "Elf on the Shelf".
So there you go. Just call me Scrooge.