Christmas Eve 2016

I’ve been driving everyone demented in the house over the past few weeks, insisting on playing HeartXmas on the radio whenever I’m at home. The unrelenting barrage of Christmas-themed music was surprisingly soothing. Well, to me at least. I’m a grumpy old sod who always, always hates the overly-commercial and overly-long build-up to Christmas. Perhaps after the 12 months I’ve just had, I think I needed a nudge into feeling faintly ridiculous and a bit happy. Even if it’s artificially and commercially produced by silly songs with inane lyrics and cynical producers.

Anyway, I like to sing / screech / croak along to the radio. Not knowing the words or tune has never slowed me down, oh no, I just crack right on with my own version, the ruder the better. Though admittedly that made learning the correct words to their school carol concert a wee bit trickier for my trio than it should have been, but that’s another story… So the minxes were getting fed up with me imitating Bruce Springsteen, moaning about how gravelly and awful his voice was and that his Santa Claus is Coming To Town sounded like more of a huge parody than my send-up of it. I’m not a big fan of his work, to be fair, but do have a very soft spot for Streets of Philadelphia. So I decided to play the girls it, the version at the link. Personally I love the way it sounds like he’s walking along the street, singing it. And I love the sound of his voice in that particular song. However, I didn’t expect the reactions I got from the girls…

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I guess they’ll not be big fans, then.

 

We had some friends over today for lunch. Their girls are the age of Mini and younger and a real joy to be around. We finished off a huge meal (brisket that had been in the slow cooker for 12 hours and Midi’s best savoury dumplings) with my friend’s delicious pavlova, then emptied an entire can of shaving foam playing Pie Face. Ahhhh, you can’t get kids too hyper on Christmas Eve!

Well, I say that… They were all bouncing off the walls. Properly going bonkers. ‘Unable to speak an entire sentence’ level of excited. I didn’t hold out much hope of them ever getting to bed. Then The Boss had a brilliant idea of breaking out the tubs of gingerbread dough his mum had given them – get them to bake gingerbread biscuits, decorate 7 shades of living hell out of them, then leave them out for Santa. Awesome! I watched the 3 of them slow down, start of concentrate, calm down more and more, get engrossed in their decorating, focusing on their creations. They stopped moaning about my Christmas music radio station and even joined in singing, while me and Mini went all kitsch on this year’s Christmas cake (those blobby things are robins. With their wings and tails outstretched. Of course they are. You see it now, don’t you?)

Santa and Rudolph's treats

Santa and Rudolph’s treats

After a few hours, they were done. I openly admitted how impressed I was with their artwork. I’m sure Santa was, too. So in a fairly calm state, they laid out Santa’s and Rudolph’s snacks, milk and whisky, posed gamely for the annual Christmas Eve photo, said goodbye to Edbie the Elf*, then went to bed without arguing.

Christmas Eve 2016

Christmas Eve 2016

*The elf went back to Santa, of course, leaving a thank you note that included some insults to Elsa, and leaving behind some Santa hats, Christmas joke box and some elf cupcake toppers I found a few months ago.

Around midnight, me and The Boss got out all the minxes’ presents from their hiding places. This year I was smug as a smug thing because I kept an Excel spreadsheet listing everything I’d bought for them, roughly how much it was (so I could make sure they’d roughly the same spent on them, and that I didn’t go overboard), and (crucially) where I’d hidden it.

So there I was, hissing: “Gas Out… Midi… blue ikea bag behind the stripey bag in the wardrobe” like a mad game of Twister to a hapless Boss who was tiptoeing around helping me fetch things. He picked up said Gas Out game and gave it an innocent prod. It came with batteries already fitted. It let out the most massive, long, wet-sounding fart I’ve ever heard that reverberated noisily along the hall. Have you ever tried not to die of laughing silently?! I swear, I lay on the floor outside Midi and Mini’s room, doubled up, dry-snorting about the noise, the terrible timing, and his face looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights. A guilty one. So that nearly started our Christmas morning earlier than we’d planned!

As it was, we first heard the pitter-patter of tiny jack-boots running around to see if Santa had visited just before 4am. I persuaded Mini to snuggle in with me for 20 whole sleepy snoozy minutes before I heard the other pair of tricksters giggling in the hall and gave up. I happily accepted the payback for the past 10 years of post-7am Christmas Day waking. It’s 0420hrs, Santa’s been, and the kids are shrieking and laughing and smiling over their presents – let the festivities commence! Merry Christmas!

Day 23 – Last Night At Long, Long Last

Last night was the last night of the month-long visit and pranks from Edbie the Elf. Thank goodness. S/he’s been more restrained than previous elf visits. I can’t wait for the minxes to grow up a bit so we can all take turns posing silly and much more evil tableaux. I wonder which minx will be the most wicked…?elf on the shelf prank snowmen marshmallows

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Day 20 – Aw, Now You’ve Gone Too Far

Last night, I am sorry. I am so, so sorry. I don’t even want to know if there’s a film reference for this. If you are at all sensitive or have anything less than a strong stomach and a puerile sense of humour then please don’t read on. Please.

The minxes have talked of the Elf on the Shelf Nutella Incident all month, so it kinda had to happen, really. At least Edbie had the grace to look ashamed.

Yes, me and The Boss nearly bust a gut laughing so hard as we posed it (Nutella in an icing tube. Took 60 seconds). Yes, the minxes squealed and guffawed all morning. Yes, we just went too far. Let’s never talk of this again.

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Day 17 is Eggstra Special

We were out visiting relatives all of Saturday night, so I had 30 seconds flat to come up with an Elf prank while the kids were being strapped into their car seats. I went for an oldie and goldie: hide Edbie and a Sharpie marker in the fridge, write rude stuff on the eggs with my left hand, leave his hat on the floor outside the fridge, run away bravely. Done! I think we’ve done variations of this every single year, and it always raises a huge laugh from the kids reading what the elf has written about each sister (I hid those 3 eggs in the photo 🙂 )day-17

Day 16 Beauty School

Okay, okay, okay, there’s no obvious film reference to Friday night’s elf shenanigans, but (a) it caused fury and outrage amongst the minxes, and (b) it was very, very loosely based on Star Wars III:

Me and The Boss were watching Dawn French on the Graham Norton show, and there were stills from one of her parodies. At minute 0:39 in the link is the bit where me and The Boss fell apart – the spoof of Queen Amidala, Mini Minx’s favourite character. It nailed *precisely* how me and The Boss see Amidala’s makeup and Mini’s desire to wear such face paint to school. Anyway, it inspired Beauty School –elf on the shelf with makeup

Day 15

Elsa got her own back for having her head chopped off on Day 14 of Edbie’s visit and other assorted indignities in the way that only Elsa can.

elf on the shelf and elsa from frozen

Elsa, just let it go, girl!

Actually this was the original, but we thought it might give Midi and Maxi ideas of how to torment their sister:

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