Why my kids don’t have traditions


My kids desperately want traditions… well, at least my daughter does. She will try to make anything into a tradition.  “Remember when we went out for pizza that night it rained really hard?  We should do that every year.”  The boy could care less about traditions.  He just follows along, hoping there is a toy at the end of the journey.

I think traditions are great.  Creating magical memories your kids can remember then pass on down to their kids is such a cool concept to me.   I envy those who flawlessly provide their kids with Kodak moments on a yearly basis.  Honestly, I would really love to have some more creative traditions other than the ones created for me – Christmas, Halloween, etc.  Unfortunately for my children, most traditions involve two things that I lack the necessary skills for – preparation and memory.  Now, its not like we don’t have any traditions, its just that I really suck at following through with them.

In order to have traditions,  you have to remember the traditions…every year.   I barely remember what month I am in, let alone the day so most of the man-made traditions like holidays seem to sneak up on me when I am not looking.  I check the calendar, see I have a few weeks, and then BAM!  Suddenly,  I find myself putting up the Christmas tree so the f&@^$% elf will arrive and I can’t remember where I hid the F@%$#$ elf the year before.  So I’m just about to head to Walmart at 10:45pm to buy a new F%#^$ elf so the kids don’t have to continue therapy into their senior years when I find it wrapped in a dish towel in my sock drawer.  The sock drawer.  WTF?!


Then there is the preparation involved in traditions.  I hate prep work.  I won’t eat tuna because it involves more then two steps.  The idea of opening the can, draining it, breaking it up, adding mayo THEN making a sandwich is mind numbing to me.  Since most of the time I have forgotten to eat and now I am at mach 10 on the hunger scale, my only option is to eat whatever is within reach and has a shelf life of two years. Preparing for holidays is right up there with tuna making – exhausting and most likely not happening.

My attic is filled with decorations for ever holiday known to man.  I could decorate the entire neighborhood for Halloween, Christmas and Easter with the crap up in my attic.  I keep buying stuff hoping that this year will be the year I will get my act together and actually set the stuff up.   Then I turn around and Halloween is tomorrow so it seems pointless to drag seven plastic totes out of the attic to set up a myriad of spooky skeletons for just 24 hours.  This year, I actually bought pumpkins to carve.  One disintegrated into a pile of mush on the railing while the other is still hanging in there.  I put a santa hat on it so it looks like it was all part of the plan.


I would love to give some traditions to my kids that they could pass on to their kids.  Something that bring backs those warm fuzzy feelings of their childhood.  As of now, the most I can give them is a pain in the ass elf who, more often then not, forgets to move, rotten pumpkins in santa hats, and a cache of nerf guns to use for an epic post Christmas day nerf war.   Maybe it will be enough for them.  Who knows.  Or maybe one day, when they are grown, they will realize just how exhausting creating magical memories (and making tuna) can really be. And they too will say “Screw it!”

Happy Holidays






So Happy It’s Christmas Eve

We’re at Def Con 5 in our house today, but not for the usual reasons, like socks that feel crumply or toast not cut right.  Nope.  It’s all because Fred didn’t move last night.

Fred is our creepy little elf on a shelf and the other morning, I was awoken at 5:00am by my daughter, who was in a panic.

Yaya: Mom? Mom?

Me: What?

Yaya:  I’m really worried.  Fred didn’t move last night.  I think something is wrong.

My eyes flew open and I froze in fear.  I felt my husband stiffen next to me.  Crap!  We forgot to move the elf.

Ever since this elf showed up, he’s been nothing but a pain in my a#$.  When I bought the elf,  I thought it would be a nice little family tradition that my kids would treasure later in life.  I had an elf when I was young. Sammy was his name and he sat on our tree as a cute little decoration.  We put him on when the tree went up and put away when the tree came down.  Simple.

Had I known the new version of this elf would be so labor intensive. I would have left the little f@%#er on the store shelf instead.

This isn’t the first time Fred forgot to  move, yet every time it happens, there is a huge meltdown in my house and the solution usually involves more work for me.  My daughter will sit in front of Fred and have a 20 minute heart to heart with him, trying to find out if he is sick, hurt, angry, or sad.  She makes rainbow loom necklaces for him and sings him songs.  Then comes the letter writing.  She will compose a letter asking Fred all the same questions she just asked him in person.

And of course, these letters have to be responded to.  Guess who gets that job?   I have enlisted many a friend to write an elf note to my kids so as not to ruin the magic.  It is freaking exhausting!


The boy is completely oblivious to the whole process.  He was all gung ho in the beginning, but his enthusiasm lasted about a week then he kind of withered out.  Now he just walks aimlessly around the room, finger in his mouth, smelling like a porta-potty until he finds the elf.  “There’s Fred.  Can I have chocolate milk now?”    Yep, he’s done.

Now I’m a classic overachiever.  Our household motto is go big or go home.  We are known for going a little over the top at times.  So you would think this elf on the shelf thing would be right up my alley.  I mean, come on!  Putting an stuffed elf into various scenarios is right up my alley, especially the “naughty” elves.  Yet somehow, I just cannot get on board.

Maybe it because I spend so much energy the other 11 months trying to come up with new creative ideas to get my kids to do everyday things like eat, get dressed, or poop somewhere other than one’s pants that my mind is spent by December.

Whatever the reason, I just not into this fricking elf.  I cannot wait for him to fly the h@ll back to the North Pole.

Social media has added a new twist to the elf as well.  Pinterest is loaded with ideas from overly creative people with way too much time on their hands.  Who has time to think of a new idea every night let alone make a frigging calendar of it?!  And then there are the people sharing their elves in various mischief on Facebook.  Hey, look at me.  Look at my awesome creative idea.  Don’t you feel like sh@t now?  Makes all of the rest of us look like slackers.

Fred the Elf goes four wheeling

Fred the Elf goes four wheeling

I thought we were in the motherhood thing together.  Where’s the sisterhood?  Come on, ladies.  Isn’t there enough stress during the holidays?  Do we really need to add one more thing to our list?

And my daughter’s friends don’t help.  They text her each morning with pictures of what little prank their elves have done.  WTF?  I want to send these moms a text with a little emojicon flipping the bird and say what the h@ll are you trying to do to me?

Jen's elf, Percy Jingles wearing the rainbow loom bracelet and blanket made by her daughter.

Jen’s elf, Percy Jingles wearing the rainbow loom bracelet and blanket made by her daughter.

I think next year, I am going to start a new movement – M.A.M.E….Mothers Against Moving Elves.  I sure I will get many followers.  Probably go viral.

But for now, I am just glad it’s Christmas Eve so I can pack up that  floppy legged, plastic face little p@$ker and shove him in the attic….until next year anyway.

Merry Christmas


(and Jen, who said to mention she would have contributed, but the same sh@t happens in her house so why bother?  Oh, and Little Man doesn’t smell like a porta potty)

Still Mostly Sane and currently still Mamas

The Elf on the Shelf should come with Valium

He's waaaaatchhhing.....!

He’s waaaaatchhhing…..!

Last year, I got caught up in the hype and got the family an elf on the shelf.  I thought it would be a nice tradition for our family.  We had an elf when I was a kid.  His name was Sammy and he showed up every December to perch on our tree until Christmas.  I don’t really remember if he had a purpose or a story behind him, but he was a part of my Christmas and I thought it might be nice if my kids had some warm, fuzzy feelings about Christmas in our house.