Elves on a Shelf


I’m rather amused by this fairly new ‘Elf on a Shelf’ interest.  Last year when I first noticed the holiday trend my only thought was, “seriously?”.

Our family inherited 4 shelf elves nearly 20 years ago.  I have no idea how long they had been gracing shelves before we began hiding them in between & on top of our books. 

To be honest they are a little creepy.  The newest elves look to be as equally creepy.  However, the creep factor doesn’t deter me from setting them out every year.  Actually I like creepy, macabre things so those little elves sitting & watching people walk by…well that’s right up my ally. 

Even my teens like the little elf dolls.  Actually they just like to prop them up in odd spooky positions to see who can creep out whom the most.  Geez, I love my teens. 

However, I’m fascinated by these new over priced elf dolls.  (BTW I’m frugal so everything is overpriced.).

If you have recently purchased one I’d love to know why & how it is used during your holiday. 

For example, I have a friend who is using her elf doll to prank her normally macho boy who likes to frequently prank the family.  She has inserted wires into the arms & legs in order to make its poses more ominous.  Her son was already a little creeped out by the doll & she’s hoping to build upon his feelings. 

I’m not sure if that’s the spirit in which the author of ‘Elf on a Shelf’ wanted people to experience when they looked at the doll.  However, if it’s memories she was hoping families would create then it would be safe to say that families are certainly creating something!


Achy Christmas


What a night! 1000+ visitors for our Christmas in the Farm event! Countless questions & even more countless informational speeches about the formal parlor, the Civil War, & the real Christmas tree.

Tonight was a huge success, but I know I’m going to pay for it in the morning. You see I was dressed in 1870’s period clothing, including those awful archless, padless shoes. The shoes I eventually stood in for 6 hours of my 10 hour shift.

Oh, but it was so worth every moment. We educated people of all ages & we were even educated by former founders & employees. It was wonderful to have the 4th great grandson of the industrial owner owner visit & it was a treat to visit with a woman whom worked at the state park before it became a state park. However, the best reason to have sore feet were the children. Not just those who visited, but also those who volunteered & stood in equally uncomfortable shoes. (although I’d bet their young feet faired better than my 40 year old feet)

Regardless of whose feet hurt worse the important factor to focus on are the educational benefits of the night. I know I learned & fell in love a little more with history, but can you imagine the inspiration & love of history that was established in those future leaders who visited & volunteered tonight? The thought brings me comfort.

Merry Achy Christmas & a Happy Learning New Year!

Christmas on the Farm


This weekend we are celebrating Christmas on the Farm at my work place. It’s an event our family has volunteered to work for several years, but this year I stand proudly as part of the seasonal staff. It’s really the perfect part-time job for a student/mom who hasn’t worked in about a decade. Not only do I get to spend time with a fun group of people, but I am also easing my way into the schedule of a job. A job filled with laughter & stress. Albeit not a lot of stress since my main responsibility is working with the public as an interpretive guide.

By the way, have I ever mentioned that I’m a certified interpretive guide through NAI (National Association of Interpreters)? I mention this to point out that even stay at home parents can update &/or learn new skills.

Anyhow, tomorrow the staff & volunteers will spend the day hosting an old fashioned Christmas filled with carols, cookies, cider, & flaming pudding. It’s going to be fabulous. However, there’s more to the event than this….we will also teach the public about life in the 1870’s as well as how appreciate nature.

Hence the tree in the picture. This tree sits in the visitor’s center & serves as a reminder to feed the birds & care for the wildlife during the harsh winter. It is decorated with wool, pine cones, feathers, & preserved critters which had passed naturally.

History, nature, & education intermingling in perfect harmony….beautiful.