Luke talked so much about the The Elf on the Shelf last year, I finally caved this year and bought one. The kids LOVE. IT. Thankfully, David is kind of into it, too, otherwise the thing would never move. I keep falling asleep whilst reading the kids their bedtime stories and forgetting all about it. So thank you, darling. Yet another reason I married the right man.
Browsing Pinterest just now, I stumbled upon this horrifying book:
At first I thought it was some sort of spoof, but no, it is a real book: Krampus: The Devil of Christmas. Apparently, Krampus was Saint Nick's helper in early European Christmas traditions. While Saint Nick would visit good children and reward them with presents, Krampus would visit the naughty ones. I see a direct line from Krampus to the Elf, don't you? He even looks a little like Krampus, minus the horns and tongue. Thankfully, my kids don't seem too worried about the reports the elf is making nightly about their behaviour although Luke does find it "freaky and just a little creepy, Mom" that the elf moves around the house at night. I'll just have to make sure he never finds out about Krampus...
This is the angel Luke made at school as a Christmas present for me.
And here is the battle scene he drew at home as a Christmas present for me. Both were wrapped up and tucked under the tree on Christmas morning. I particularly like the detail on the left -- the man who loses his glasses as he falls out of the sky and uh, smashes his head into the ground. Happy holidays everyone!
Here's a shot of the paper village we always put up around this time of year. Some of the houses -- the three-dimensional ones with pastel roofs -- I made a year or two ago using a Martha Stewart winter village kit. At some point, I used Country Home's plans to make the plain white buildings, which are flat. And this year's addition is the one in the middle -- it's made from a photograph of our own crooked house, printed on vellum and taped to a square glass vase. I got the idea from Hutch Studio. They made similar ones of their shop. (Via the lovely new blog A History of Home.)
I've taken photographs of other houses in our neighbourhood, and ones of the houses of some relatives and friends -- you know, the people who don't actually live in our neighbourhood but we wish did. (Gramma, when you read this, please email us a photo of your house and Den's.) And, time permitting, I'm going to add those houses to our paper village, too. So that even if the real world isn't perfect, our paper one will be.
Or maybe not. If you look closely, you can see where the roof of our porch is starting to fall down, right above the steps. And unfortunately, there's another slight problem. I suggested to Luke that we might like to put little cut-out photographs/paper dolls of him and Vivi on the felt, next to that snowman say, and he thought that was a great idea. "We should look sad, though," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because the house is on fire," he said. And unfortunately, it does look a little like that. Luke thinks the glossiness of the map behind the roof of the house even looks like smoke.
We could just go with that, I suppose. Add a toy fire truck and all.
All you need to make your own is a photograph of your house printed on a sheet of vellum, a battery-operated tea light or two (whatever you do, don't use real ones), and some tape. The glass vase or candle-holder is optional. If you don't want to use one, just fold the photo of your house in a kind of tube around a tea-light and fasten it with the tape.
I love, love, love this new Oxfam Christmas giving campain -- love the design, love the copy, love the gifts. Click here to give one of the gifts mentioned above or a dozen chicks or a goat or a vegetable patch or books or art supplies for kids or a school lunch or or or... what to choose? Via How About Orange.
This is one of artist Annalise Rees's cardboard cities. It's on our list to reproduce -- it may be a good activity for Boxing Day!