In light of all this Elf on a Shelf stuff, I wanted to introduce you to our house friend…the TROLL on a shelf.
Now, before you roll your eyes at yet another tiny holiday toy that comes to life, let me first congratulate the parents who successfully pull this off. I wholeheartedly admire those energy-in-the night-parents, who create high wire walking, ice skating, mischievous marshmallow throwing acts at an hour that I am usually either snoring or watching mindless television and stuffing my face with the candy that I hid under my bed.
I’m gonna be honest though, there are a lot of us, who can’t handle the stress of elf life. I’m going to suspect even some of you who have an elf, just don’t have the energy for it, or in some cases, even wish they had never bought the thing.
So here I am again to make ya’ll feel normal. My Troll serves no purpose. None…except for the fact that I didn’t want to get rid of him from when I was a kid. Since I’m too lazy to make up fun stuff, he just moves around and hides and when the kids find him, I move him again. Let’s be honest, most of the time I forget, so some Christmases he only moves twice. The kids keep trying to turn him into an elf, but I don’t need that kind of pressure, so I insist that he’s just a Troll. I’m sure I’m scarring them for life and depriving them of some serious childhood fun!
This fluffy haired guy has been out playing with our family for 4 years now. He obviously has an affinity for reindeer, his red hair is a festive and bold fashion choice, much like his personality. He is never doing anything, just sitting in different places, kind of like what I do on Mondays. He goes from picture frame, to clock, to jar, to tree, to shelf. Always up high as my 1 year old would throw him in the potty and attempt to flush him down if she could ever reach him. He has been found in the nude on occasion, thanks to some curious children, and if you asked him, I bet he’d tell you he loves Jesus and Santa!
What I’m saying is, with all the holiday traditions flying around, it’s easy to feel like you’re a bad parent if you don’t do something or you do it but present it without a deep meaning.
Thanks to our addiction to social media, it’s unfortunately common to feel like you’ve failed because you didn’t move your elf or he’s on top of the tree AGAIN! Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter if it’s an elf, a shepherd, a creepy Troll toy, or nothing. It doesn’t matter if you move it every night, once a week, or not at all. Your family is just that, yours, which means it can have it’s own traditions tailored to your energy levels.
If you are an organized creative parent, then by all means move your elf every night! If you’re a crafty, engineering dad, then suspend that dude from the ceiling! But if you’re like me, and you’re a tired, sometimes sloppy, usually scatter-brained mama and you don’t want that tradition you heard about yesterday or you started one and afterwards discovered it was too much work, then for Pete’s sake, throw it out! Sure the kids might hem and haw for a bit, but there are other traditions your kids will have to enjoy and remember. Some that you probably don’t even realize you have created.
God chose you to be the parent of these children for a reason. You bring your own set of unique gifts to the table. Those kids are becoming all the good parts of you, and yes some of the bad, but that’s what makes them human. Perfect is boring. I love my sometime inappropriately sarcastic 10 year old and my sometimes over the top sassy 7 year old. If they were perfect, they couldn’t learn.
Let’s see what the Apostle Paul has to say about comparing ourselves to others:
“All must test their own work: then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads.” Gal 6:4-5
So stop comparing your family traditions to that ones you saw yesterday on Pinterest, and make your own unique memories! Follow traditions because they make your family happy, not because you feel like you have to keep up with the latest social media feed or mommy blog. When you look at those posts, look at them in a different light. Don’t compare yourself to them. Instead thank God for that friend and for creating all of us uniquely.
Even if that means all you do is set up a nativity and wrap a few lights around a pole. I’m sure my kids will still be talking about the boring, sometimes naked Troll when they’re all grown-up, and there will most certainly be a fist fight over who gets to keep our little red nosed friend when we’re gone.
Until next time, share some chaos, create confidence, and inspire some grace of your own! Merry Christmas friends!