The Elf on the Shelf is Dead

elf on the shelf, shenanigans, making messes, naughtyWe are gathered together today to pay tribute to one of the fallen, Mr. Jingles.  He was very special to us and even though we were blessed to have him for only a short time, he made a lasting impact.

I remember when I first met Mr. Jingles.  It was about a week and a half ago.  It’s a funny story because as you’ll see, it shows that Mr. Jingles was an elf with a jolly sense of humor.  Our family woke up the morning after Thanksgiving and as we all had a leisurely breakfast in our pjs, one of the kids looked up at the cabinet above the refrigerator, pointed and let out a blood-curdling scream.  The baby followed the older one’s finger up to the elf’s resting place and began to wail.  Certain that a rabid bat had found its way into our house, I started, spilling my coffee down the entire front of my pajamas.  My husband immediately grabbed a butcher knife and fell into some sort of karate pose.

But it turns out, it was only Mr. Jingles, who’d been assigned to our home for the first time, making an entrance.

Hahaha.  I laugh every time I think about it.  He really gave us a start that morning, silly elf.

He had a sense of humor, oh yes he did.  But there are many other things we can say about good old Jingles.

He brought so much enthusiasm to his work.  Oh it took him a few days to come out of his shell, that’s for sure.  At first, he simply sat on the shelf and smiled down at us, leaving to report to Santa every night and showing back up in a new place every morning.  The kids would wake up and run all over the house until they found his new perch, then giggle with delight as we ruminated on what report he’d given to old Kris Kringle the night before.

But then as he got to know us, he began to let down his guard and truly share his weaknesses with us as well as his strengths.

One morning I found Mr. Jingles in the middle of a bunch of flour on the kitchen counter.

The elf on the shelf, flour, snow angel, messI was flummoxed.  It seemed that between the time he left for the North Pole and returned in the early morning hours, the silly elf had accidentally knocked over our entire container of flour.  Oh but he made the best of it because that’s the way he was!  <sniff, sniff>  Mr. Jingles playfully made a snow angel in the flour much to the kids’ delight.

Well, isn’t that festive, I said to myself as I made my third pass wiping up the sticky flour from the counter.

That night, I made sure Mr. Jingles’ suit was free of flour before I tucked him on a branch of the Christmas tree for a quick flight back to the North Pole.

The next morning, I wandered into the kitchen for coffee shortly after 6:30am.  I didn’t see him at first in my morning haze but then my eyes zeroed in on something shiny and green.

Naughty elf on the shelf in glitter messMr. Jingles was sitting in the middle of a giant mess of green glitter.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Our adorable elf, in the midst of trying to create a fun crafty surprise for my children, had spilled the glitter and then, clearly, tried very hard to clean it up in his own clumsy way.

Just then, the children ran downstairs and seeing the glitter, pounced on it, spreading it to the far reaches of our home and their nether regions.

Don’t you just love glitter?  I’ll think of this happy memory every time I find a piece of green glitter in my rug for the next 25 years.

A few mornings later, after cleaning up several more messes from our well-meaning but clumsy elf, the reason that he’d been reassigned to us from his last family became clear.

Mr. Jingles was once again struggling with his own personal demons.

And I knew what I had to do.  I sent Mr. Jingles on his merry way.

It was hard sitting the kids down that morning to explain why Mr. Jingles wasn’t’ sitting on our kitchen counter in the middle of a pile of chocolate pudding and half-naked Barbies like the morning before.

I told them solemnly about his mid-air collision with a Boeing 747 the night before on his return to the North Pole, and how he gotten sucked into the engine and spat back out in a million tiny pieces of shredded polyester.

“But don’t be sad, children,” I said.  ”Mr. Jingles fell to earth like Christmas snow and because he’s made of non-biodegradable material, he’ll be with us all forever and ever and ever.”


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Show Me The Magic

inflatable reindeer at door

Uh, Santa? You forgot something…

That moment when your kindergartner wakes you up because Santa has come and you pad out in your socked feet just hoping to grab a cup of coffee before the paper-shredding begins and then you see something peeking in your front door and you knit your brows, puzzled, but it’s followed immediately by a delighted grin because whatever it is, you can tell it’s just plain magic.

And you all run to the door and there’s a reindeer with a wreath around his neck and he wants to come in because it’s cold outside and he’s been waiting there on the porch for hours and he’s eager to get on with the merry task of being your new pet.

dear santa i have been good i want a reindeer @toulouseNtonic #dearsanta

@toulouseNtonic #dearsanta

And you don’t know how or who but you don’t care because it’s magic and magic it shall be.

P. S.  If you know an inexpensive supplier of reindeer moss, a friendly large-animal vet or a lonely female reindeer with a good set of upper points, please write to me at

Wishing a little of the real magic of Christmas to each and every one of you.

reindeer inflatable on porch, dear santa wish IMG_0582

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Holiday Wrapping (up)

I’m feeling so warm and fuzzy today.  Looks like your (sometimes) weekly newsletter will be short on the snark.

Never fear.  My snark well runs deep and strong.  It’ll be back, probably by the end of this update.

A vlog of an interfaith couple singing the 12 days of chrismukkah

The 12 Days of Chrismukkah

Last week, I got my husband tipsy and talked him into doing this:  The 12 Days of Chrismukkah and my 1st vlog.  If you like pumpkin latkes, menorahments and hannucookies, or if you have no idea what those things are (because I made them up), or if you just like to laugh at people who either sing badly or reluctantly, check it out.  Who doesn’t wanna spend 2 minutes laughing at a person in a yarmulke and another in a ridiculous elf hat totally effing up The 12 Days of Christmas song?

little girl covered in flour after baking cookies @toulouseNtonic #bakingcookiesOne of my favorite posts about vaginas (is it weird that my blog has enough posts about vaginas that I can say that?) was featured on BONBON Break last week.  If you haven’t joined Bonbon Break, I highly recommend.  Kathy and Val are the nicest gals going, and every day they offer you a lovely chocolate-coated bite of the best things going on in the blogging world.  Subscribe at, like their facebook page and follow Bonbon Break on twitter.

One invigorating move in the Momsanity workout.

One invigorating move in the Momsanity workout.

Also last week on Bonbon Break, amazing mom blogger Keesha of Mom’s New Stage offered a great (and funny) new way to work off those holiday pounds with her MOMSANITY workout.  She was masochistic kind enough to allow me to illustrate one of the moves.  After you eat these scrumptious vulva candies, get in a Momsanity workout and you’ll magically fit into those pajama jeans without an 80s-style deep-knee-bending and muffin-top-squooshing-down struggle.

This week…  I have to stop and take a sip of mimosa and watch the sugar plums dancing in my head.  Oh what a week.  This is gonna sound totally like humblebragging but I just can’t help myself.  I’m so excited and grateful about reaching some milestones I never in a million years thought I would reach.

With the generous help of some blogger friends, not only did I break my all-time hit record in a day but doubled it on Wednesday.  And even on Thursday, as things wound down, there were still more pageviews than my previous record.

How did this happen?

pacifierI guest-posted on Mommy Shorts with an article about the Top 10 (hilarious) differences between parenting your first child and parenting your second.  Mommy Shorts reported over 1000 facebook likes on the post (I asked her if she’d added a zero or two) and some of her readers made their own funny contributions.  Check ‘em out on the Mommy Shorts facebook page.  And thank you, Ilana, for lending me the Mommy Shorts power for a couple of days.  It was fun.  Really, really fun.

MotherhoodWTFThen, ON THE SAME BLESSED DAY, a blogger I’ve stalked since before I started my own blog featured one of my posts.  I’ll just say first that her blog is called MotherhoodWTF and from the first moment I visited, I was hooked.  Allison says all the stuff about mothering you wish you could say.  Profanely.  And intelligently.  Is she profanely intelligent?  Or Intelligently profane?  Who cares?  It’s all the same to me and I love it.  You will too if you have a sense of humor about parenting.  And you must, or you wouldn’t be here.

sweet potato latkes with bacon turn into hash browns

Sweet Potato Latke Notkes. Add bacon to make them even more of a Chrismukkah disaster.

And in the perfect blogging storm of Wednesday, I was also featured on CraftFail again. Yes, again.  This time with my disaster-of-a-shiksa-bride sweet potato latkes.  If I wasn’t so stubborn, I’d stop trying with the freaking crafts.  But I never learn.  Ask anyone.

And then last night, I reached 1000 twitter followers.  Happy sigh.

christmas decorations hannukah decorations garland ornaments snowmen tinselI also posted this silly little thing full of stories about pets pooping out holiday decorations.  Or more accurately, TRYING to poop out holiday decorations.

Hold on, let me check the snark well.  Nope, all dry.

Thank you so much for your support.  This blog gives me a lot of happiness these days.  I’ve been writing it for 2 years or more, but there’s something about it these last few months…I’m guessing the difference is you.

Here is my simple advice to you as we head into the final days before Christmas.  1.  Do NOT go to the mall.  2.  Tipple.  Tipple hard.

Happy holidays.


Awesome things I read this week:

The ABCs of Raising Boys

Jesus Crashed My Birthday Party

Elf Shaming


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Latke NOTkes

sweet potato latkes with bacon turn into hash browns

Sweet Potato Latke Notkes. Add bacon to make them even more of a yummy Chrismukkah treat. @toulouseNtonic #chrismukkah

Since my husband is Jewish and I’m Christian, we’ve been celebrating Chrismukkah together for years now.  We like to invent new traditions to blend our holiday cultures.  This year, for the first time, I decided make latkes with a Christmas twist…

Just follow the directions below to make your own delicious Chrismukkah latkes.

While you’re cooking, have your partner experiment with some Chrismukkah cocktails.

IMG_0847First up, eggnog, whiskey and blue curaçao.

We shall call this one a Chrismukkah Mistake and we shall never speak of it again.


Pour it down the sink and have your mixologist go back to the drawing board.

In the meantime, open some wine and begin to combine your holiday traditions by cooking Sweet Potato Latkes.

Take 2 sweet potatoes and skin them alive.

peeled sweet potatoes

peeled sweet potatoes

Many recipes call for you to hand-grate the potatoes but since I’m lazy a fan of modern-day appliances, I recommend tossing them right into the food processor until they look like something resembling this.

grate (or grind up) your sweet potatoes

grate (or grind up) your sweet potatoes

The next step involves pressing all the water out of your sweet potatoes in a colander.

I pushed on them so hard, I got really thirsty and was willing to try another Chrismukkah cocktail.  This one involved champagne with Manischewitz drizzled into it.  It was declared drinkable and deemed a Chrismukkah Spritzer.

Chrismukkah Champagne Sprizter

Chrismukkah Champagne Sprizter

I pushed and I pushed and still no liquid came out.

So I sat on them.

Press the water out of the sweet potatoes

Press the water out of the sweet potatoes

The only thing accomplished was that my ass broke the colander.

Oh well.

Next, it’s time to get creative.  Rummage through your refrigerator for something to spice up the latkes.

Aha!  I know what they’re missing!  The most unkosher thing on the planet.

Hello, lover!  You’ll do quite nicely.

baconFry the bacon and crumble it into the sweet potatoes.

Add a teaspoon of cloves, a little honey, 2 eggs and a shit ton of brown sugar.

Mix it all up with your hands.

Pat it into little pancakes and drop them into a hot frying pan with some oil.

Within a couple of minutes, if you lack the latke touch like I do, they’ll start falling apart. Embrace change, stir them up into hash browns and call them Latke NOTkes.

sweet potato latke notkesOy vey.  I’m a disaster of a shiksa bride.

But they were DELISH!

And a new Chrismukkah tradition is born.

Happy Chrismukkah!


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