Elves' Christmas Family Traditions

I know we’re getting close to Christmas when somebody makes a comment about my last name. “Oh Elves,” they’ll say, “that’s such a fun name this time of year.” And it is. 

This year the cashier at Chapters made sure to compliment me on my name when I made my purchase. “Is it pronounced like you think it is?”

 “Ya,” I’ll reply, “it really is.” 

It isn’t uncommon to hear someone in my family yelling at the phone, “No Elves! As in Santa’s elves? The little helpers?” when we are asked to repeat the spelling, because they’re sure they've spelt it wrong. 

Growing up, my favourite memories of Christmas are the extended Elves family and cousins playing games and eating food. We took turns pretending to be Santa and stalk the Norad Santa tracker. We talked about what we hoped would be waiting for us under the tree on Christmas morning. Last year, all the cousins realized that most of us were of drinking age, so instead of exchanging wishlists, we made each other drinks and had a blast at the kids table. We still made sure to keep updating the Santa tracker though. 

There are quite a few Christmas traditions our family has adopted over the years. On Christmas Eve Eve, my sister and I watch Eloise at Christmastime, and my dad has been known to frantically search for last minute presents for my mom. We open pajamas on Christmas Eve and have eggs benedict for breakfast on Christmas morning. My dad is right there with a garbage bag collecting wrapping paper and packaging when we open our presents. 

Over the years, my immediate family has spent the holidays in a few different spaces. We went to Winnipeg to celebrate with our family, including my great grandma. We’ve flown to Florida on Christmas Day and eaten Christmas dinner at Denny’s (that was some turkey, I’ll tell you!). We’ve been on a cruise when my parents went all Christmas with the Kranks, but we followed through and went on vacation. Even on the cruise, my mom made sure we had stockings with an orange at the bottom, as is our tradition.

This year we’re going to spend Christmas on Vancouver Island. Last year, when my grandparents came to Ottawa for Christmas, they told our family that my grandma had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Later that year we got the news that the cancer spread to her lungs. Things weren’t looking great and it was very important to my dad that the four of us head out to the Island to spend Christmas with her and my poppa. We were excited to spend Christmas on the Island for the first time, but sad about the conditions that it was under. In great news though, the immunotherapy she started worked wonderfully, and as of her last scan, there were no signs of cancer in her body. This is the best Christmas present any of us could have asked for a year after she was diagnosed. 

Despite my family hopping around, Christmas - no matter where we are - is about spending time with loved ones and appreciating the past year. So we can do that on a boat, across the country, or right at home. 

Happy holidays!