Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Guest Posts from the Holiday Horror Show Contest!
SUPER CONGRATULATIONS TO ISABELLE GINGRAS AND MARCY FRASER DIXON!!!!
You lovelies won the Holiday Horror Show Blog Post Competition!
Below you will find both posts. I choose two okay because they both warmed my friggin' heart and I think they will inspire you not to leave your kids in the Wal-Mart parking lot. And that's the kind of motivation we need Mamas.
SQUEE! I love contests and I LOVE WINNERS!!! Thanks to all who entered! I received entries from both Canada and the United States! Excitementballs!
XMAS STORY by Marcy Fraser Dixon
It was December 1st, my kids came screaming up the front walk after getting off the bus. They're faces were filled with excitement and glee, so of course, mine was also. They must've had one heck of a great day at school!
"Jaxton! Jaxton! I'm gonna find him first!" 2 of my 3 children were playfully arguing over who would find this 'Jaxton' first.
Who is this, 'Jaxton' you wonder? Who is this 'person' that can bring so much happiness with just the thought of him being there?
Jaxton is our elf... Our 'Elf on the Shelf'.
My smile slowly faded to a look of nausea as I realized, not only was good ole Jax not hanging in the family room awaiting the kids...but I had not idea where he was.
You see, we had moved from Canada to the U.S. a few months before and during that trek, the darn little elf somehow went MIA. As I went over the rolodex of 'All things Christmas' in my head, I had to start by process of elimination.
I went straight for the motherload, where all the Christmas boxes are stacked from floor to ceiling. After 8 boxes, we found our 'elf'. Or so we thought.
We have him separate from our Xmas decor in a bag covering the original box with his book. We opened the bag when the kids were watching a movie and the box was empty.
Before we moved, I remembered checking it because it was in our walk in closet, not our basement with the rest of the Xmas stuff. I didn't want the kids to see the movers with it so I mentioned it to the fella packing our room since he was going to be packing this with our clothes next.
He shrugged his shoulders and said it was fine.
Hmmm. Drop bag like a hot cake a tear up the stairs like my feet are on fire, it must be in my closet! Hmm....in.....something.....else, ugh! I am desperate so I go through my entire closet thinking I wrapped this thing in my clothes with the book stashed in there somewhere too, but nope, no Jaxy-boy.
I know some people don't like the elf but in our home, it's a really big deal. Our kids love it.
They look forward to the fun and games we play. The imagination of it all. Where will he be? What silly household item will he be on or be using as a prop?
I would see my 2 older boys quietly sitting near him, whispering in his ear. Sometimes it's a secret for Santa but other times it was something that was bothering my oldest at school.
It's a tradition in our home. We have many, many wonderful creative traditions that help keep the magic alive & let my kids be kids (& me too). Its something I can see us continuing to do even after they stop believing because its fun and it makes us laugh.
My personal opinion is that kids need more magic, more pretend, more kid time.
They'll grow up soon enough and know the realities of the world, no need to rush.
So, in true Dixon form, we were once again running our buns off to pull off the perfect plan.
'Operation Jaxton 2'
9pm on Friday night. Gone are the days of drinking beers with the guys, now my husband is off to the toy store to purchase a replacement elf at bedtime and luckily (thank you Santa!) found one.
The look on the kids faces the next morning was priceless!
I had to wipe the tears from my eyes when they jumped and yelled that Santa hadn't forgotten about them. My kids, who are living so far away from family and friends...maybe this elf means a lot more than I thought?
They all started to yammer on about dreams of a house filled with elves. Big elves and small elves here and there, in a panic to make sure everything was perfect for Jaxton to be here, how hard it was to find our house and that our elf must've been lost...I wonder if they had to send an elf patrol. I watched Sam, my oldest, getting to the age where he's almost not sure what he believes... Standing in the background, off to the side of the room, not saying a whole lot.
He didn't have too, his smile said it all.
UNTITLED by Isabelle Gingras
I could name one hundred common examples of frustrating moments of parenting my three-year old daughter. The elder of two, Anna is a determined and focused child who is keen on learning to do All Things not meant for someone of her age. While she insists that she is old enough to learn to drive the car (it’s her turn), sitting at the table to eat a simple meal, getting dressed by herself (she’s improving) and just sitting still long enough for me to comb her hair (you know, things that she is able to do and should do) have become some of her most distressing tasks.
Anna attends daycare full-time and, as the anxious human that I am, I worry about her behaviour while I’m not around. She distracts her friends at nap time and plays with her food at lunch time. She likes to give me a very detailed list of who-pushed-who at daycare at the end of every day (ie: Ava pushed me and then I pushed Ryder) which just makes me want to bury my face in my hands forever and enter a deep slumber, but I have to make dinner and so I mourn my lack of control over her life outside of the home while I chop up something for the girls to eat.
My days are also filled with overwhelmingly lovely moments with her (she is intelligent and quirky and loves to make me laugh) and laying with her at bedtime is probably the most special bonding time that we have together. It’s like everything that happened during the day is gone and the only thing left is this truly unconditional love that we have for one another. I lay with her to bring her comfort, but I am surprised at her own love for me. Anna takes my hand and rubs my fingers. She takes her other small hand and brushes my hair from my face and kisses my cheek, smiling sweetly and lovingly. She tells me that she loves me. She easily closes her eyes; she feels safe and loved and she knows that resting is important. She looks forward to the next morning. She loves life, her family, her friends.
It is perhaps ironic that these beautiful parenting moments are also my most painful ones. I can handle the frustrations of day-to-day parenting, but as I watch Anna happily and innocently fall asleep, my soul wriths with pain at the inevitable disappointments and heartache that life will undoubtedly bring her with time.
Last night, I received an e-mail from one of Anna’s educators who is completing her Early Childhood Development program at the local college. She had asked my permission a few months ago to observe Anna in her daycare setting and write observational reports for one of her assignments. This message included her final report on Anna. I was nervous to open it as I am painfully aware that Anna’s behaviour can be challenging. With her permission, I’ve included her introduction to her paper below:
AC is very petite in stature. She is not much over 3 feet tall and is probably only 25 pounds. She has green eyes, and her brown hair is cut into a “bob” style. AC is 3 years 10 months old. AC is the eldest child in her family. She has a younger sister who is a toddler. She lives with both her parents, who I estimate to be in their mid-thirties. Both her parents have careers. AC is in full-time childcare and she fits in extremely well. She has a strong independent personality and she is well like by her peers and educators alike. I choose to study AC because I find her intelligence and independence interesting. She seems very self-assured, questions things she doesn’t understand, and shows a determination to figure things out.
Fits in extremely well. Strong. Independent. Well liked. Intelligent. Interesting. Self-Assured. Determined to Learn.
Needless to say, there was a lot of ugly crying on my part. I accepted that I am a good parent. I’ve encouraged my child to develop a solid foundation to face the good, the bad and the ugly. When I lay with her and watch her fall asleep, I’ve now replaced my painful feelings with a sense of trust and pride, knowing that she already has the tools to live the life she loves, to stand up for herself and to be curious about the world that surrounds her, and to nurture her happiness.
And what more could I, as a loving parent, ask for?
Thank you for these beautiful stories and thank you to everyone who participated!
Watch for more FUN coming soon!