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Family, Parenting

My own elf — not on the shelf

Had my own Christmas miracle today: Catherine jumped in to help with our last-minute preparations.

She rolled out of bed before noon, helped make the gravy for Tuesday’s stuffed shells, emptied the garbage, made up a couple of plates of cookies, and found time between text messages to put away some of the stuff that is all over her room before our company comes.

Catherine and her freshly displayed Christmas stocking in 2002. What a difference a decade makes!

Catherine and her freshly displayed Christmas stocking in 2002. What a difference a decade makes!

It’s not quite the same as when she was little and took the “if you don’t behave, Santa won’t come” threat seriously. Back then, the final days before Christmas were filled with her checking in to get a batch of helper tasks, finishing them lickety-split, then coming back for more.

Today, I had to work a little harder to press her into service than I once did. And I still wound up cleaning the bathrooms while she watched and made smart remarks. (Like father, like daughter.)

Still, I was glad for the help.

Just wait til she sees the to-do list for tomorrow.

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

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