Thoughts on a page

Sam Tench / Photo blogs / / 1 Comment

“It’s 11.41 pm on Christmas Eve.   Tomorrow is a mere 19 minutes away.  I really can’t believe Christmas is about to descend upon us.  For me, this means another year of elf antics has now well and truly passed.  Strangely enough, though, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this.  Where on earth did all that time disappear to?  It doesn’t feel like four weeks since the elves appeared on our front doorstep wrapped up in various sized envelopes.  In reality, it feels like just yesterday, the day I spent a whole Sunday afternoon sat on the floor of our wardrobe surrounded by props whilst making up my master elf plan for the month ahead.  A plan which if I’m candid, I’m not sure it served its purpose.  The plan was supposed to take the pressure off, yet considering most nights I was still working to put the finishing touches on until 11 pm, I wonder why I even bothered! 

Here I sit, the end of another Elf season, admiring the grand finale show; I’m even a little impressed (and I don’t say that very often!)  Yet I can’t quite put my finger on how I’m feeling overall.  Is it a sense of happiness and joy or a deep sense of dread and loss?  Could it be that I’m not genuinely ready for the elves and the magic they spread to disappear into the dark of the night suddenly?  Then my mind wanders to my two young girls who have developed an unbelievably strong bond with their elves over the years.  They tell me all the time, “we love our elves mum’ and that last day each year, when they get to hold their little friends, is a day of immense happiness and sadness all rolled up into one big messy ball.   I already know the profound sadness and tears I’ll be faced within the morning.  I don’t know about other mums out there, but as soon as I see my kids shed a tear, mine will not be far behind!

It’s moments like these when I question if what I’m doing is the right thing to do? I’m creating lasting memories right, or so I’m told.  On the other hand, it feels like I’m merely setting them up for a broken heart over and over again as the time to say goodbye approaches each year.     When I began my elfing journey, I never anticipated what I was getting myself in to; the bond between Elf and Child would flourish and continue to grow stronger as the years of fun memories passed on by.  What I didn’t comprehend was the profound sorrow they’d also experience every year.   

I do wish time could slow down.  Who knows how long the kids will appreciate the magic of the elves?  When will it become ‘uncool’ to have elves? I can’t imagine the day my children decide they no longer want anything to do with their once much-loved elves.    I know what you’re probably thinking right now.  I complain about those elves a lot, and you’re right.   Yes, I’m exhausted and quite frankly on most days I could give you numerous reasons why I’ve had enough of those naughty little guys and the endless work they leave for me.   Yet, as I reflect over time, the truth emerges.   Time is passing by too for comfort.  An array of thoughts and questions promptly follows these thoughts.  When will they have had enough?  How much longer can this light-hearted, and deeply entrenched tradition continue to go on?  When will the harsh truth take all the magic, innocence and love away for them, possibly; forever?”

The truth revealed

So there you have it, l admit.  Letting go of those little rascals isn’t as easy as you might assume.  Sure, having a little more time to do my own stuff will be nice, but deep down I know times like these filled with a lot of silly, crazy, fun and games are quite possibly about to come to an end.  It doesn’t feel right, and it feels far too soon.    If I could have just one wish for my children, (it’s a tough one to choose, particularly this year!)  it would be for them to always believe in the spirit and the magic their elves bring.   Alfie and Sparkle encompass qualities I’d want for my own children throughout their lives;

Gusty, fun-filled individuals who display an unchecked sense of confidence, self-assurance and compassion.  They are all-round good and loving personalities who should never doubt the individuals they are becoming.  There is no room to feel shame, the need to apologize or hide in fear continually.   They are who they are, and that is a beautiful thing.

For myself, unrealistic as it might be, I’d be forever thankful if time could slow down!  I already feel as though I’ve missed so much in my lifetime. To be blessed with more time with my children whilst still in their prime childhood years would leave me forever grateful.  The thought of looking at my children in 10 years from now, only to see different, more prominent individuals makes my heart feel a sense of loss.  Why can’t they remain the little people they are today?  That day in the future. The day my eldest realizes the truth behind our elves will be one of the hardest to come to grips with.   Who knows when that might be?   What I do know is that this is a day that brings an intense feeling of trepidation.  What then?

The previous few weeks

Enough with the deep stuff, you’re probably wondering what our little elf friends have been up to?  Let us say; anything goes when it comes to the antics of Alfie, Sparkle and the clan. There’s no shyness with this lot; they’re always ready and willing to jump headfirst into any sticky or slightly dangerous situation. This year has been no different; we’ve witnessed some classic examples of how our elves take delight in having some good old Elf fun. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the fun we’ve experienced over the previous couple of weeks;

  • A winter wonderland! Fun and adventures at the snow with a massive (massive for elves!) snow slide. Friends, slides and snow in a cold winter wonderland, what more could an Elf want?
  • Partying like rock stars! One morning, we woke to an outrageously messy and somewhat irresponsible party (there may have even been a bottle of wine involved in this one!). Full of streamers, confetti, decorations, party food and the elves swinging like rock stars on disco balls, I’m sure this was an epic party!
  • Crafting and creating- Having stocked up on supplies to begin making all sorts of creations with the many seashells we had collected at Metung. The Elves performed their kind of magic to set-up a craft table (organized and ready for the girls to create) that was sure to capture the imagination of any individual. Regardless of age, we all felt inspired to create, all thanks to the magic of the elves.
  • At home learning- True to 2020, the elves showed us they were no different, attending their version of at-home learning. The home Elf school remained in place for the entire duration of their stay.  Might I say, they had a very well-resourced home learning set-up?  Must have had an excellent teacher guiding them!
  • The great toilet paper shortage- After congratulating us on surviving the ‘toilet paper shortage of 2020,’ we found a display (let us be honest here; a complete mess) of toilet paper, cut up into all sorts of different patterns. We discovered the elves with scissors in hand, surrounded by piles of toilet paper cut-outs featuring all sorts of patterns and designs.   They also brought some lovely festive themed toilet paper for us to enjoy.  However, after all that cutting, they did leave us a little light on in the toilet paper department!
  • Possibly a world first, Alfie and Sparkle got to experience their 15 minutes of fame, debuting on their very own TV channel presenting the day’s news. Broadcast directly from the north pole, the main story of the day featured Tim the smallest elf in the world “has somehow swallowed a whole grape without exploding!”
  • An orchestra of fruit- Possibly another world first, the elves enjoyed joining a choir featuring fresh mango’s, blueberries, grapes, apples, oranges and pineapples. Lined up beautifully as you’d expect of any good choir, I’m sure they performed at some point in the day!
  • Furniture Wrapping- You read correctly, our considerably large lounge suit was all wrapped up like a great big Christmas present! There was one problem, though. Somebody left the remote control for the TV hidden somewhere underneath all of that wrapping paper!   Bad move elves!
  • Candy Cane Lane Ten Pin Bowling came to our house- Four lanes of different sizes with various sized pins all lit up like a Christmas tree! Even Tim and Izzy got to join in on the fun with a miniature set of pins perfect for them.  Some of Alfie and Sparkles barbie friends also joined them for a friendly game or two. They looked to be having so much fun.

And finally, I couldn’t continue without mentioning the grand finale, the piece of resistance that must have taken the elves months to create.    A life-size snowman made entirely out of paper cups and lit up beautifully with lights.  Amazing!  One child pleaded, ‘can we keep it, whilst the other measured herself up against it to compare heights.  One can only imagine having the drive, time and patience of an Elf; it sure would be truly amazing!  If I had the power to bargain with them, I might just allow them to keep the snowman for as long as it manages to stand, so long as they put a hold on anymore growing up.

1 Comment

  1. Julie Johnson  —  31 December 2020 at 12:03 am

    Yet once again a terrific piece of writing with real feelings that anyone can relate to in this one Sam. As a parent of a near 41 year old and a 37 year old with 4 grandchildren as well, I also cherish the years of innocence and fun. It was sad seeing them disappear and be replaced by a far more consumer v advertising mentality on what Christmas is about. I love the way that you have been driven to give Hannah and Georgie some special memories they will cherish for life and may take with them to their families into the far distant future. It has been a pretty selfless act really, as the amount of work required involves real devotion to your motive for engaging in the countless hours. You need to work this one out for yourself as the next year 2021 will not be a lot easier than the last for any of us unfortunately. You need like me to me constantly working around your priorities in life as you see them and at this moment in time the elves are not necessarily one of them. You are wonderful with your parents and maybe this might drive your focus for 2021 but whatever you decide and however you decide to do it know that you are commencing a new year having accomplished enormous progress, which has been enjoyed by many. Keep doing the pics they are beautiful, ride with the tide and work out your main areas of focus for 2021 and above all may the New Year bring you health, happiness and peace xxxx Julie


Leave a Reply