Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas came early this year!

You know how I have been on a Christmas kick? I know it’s probably driven you crazy! I don’t mean to tick you off by having my house decorated (except for my tree and exterior lights) and all of my Christmas presents purchased. I have to tell you that this is not the norm. I haven’t been this early with my Christmas preparations for several years. I’m usually early, but not this early!

Well, over the weekend I finally put 2 and 2 together and figured out the real reason why I was so organized this year. Christmas has been on my brain because of the annual event I do in our community to help children with special needs get a sensory-friendly portrait with Santa. Our event was so popular last year that we doubled our capacity this year and added a second event day before Thanksgiving.
So, I’ve been doing full-tilt marketing since Halloween from the perspective of “Santa’s Elf.” I’ve been writing up posts for the event’s blog and Facebook page, as well as passing out flyers and sending out emails. Since I knew I would be busy with last minute event details for our first event this past weekend (and knowing I’d have to do it all over again two weeks later), I had geared myself up early to get into the holiday spirit.

On Saturday I was in full holiday gear, complete with jingle bell earrings, a matching jingle bell necklace and bracelet, as well as a snowflake shirt. I even had a blinky Christmas light necklace! Not wanting to be the only gaudy one there, I picked up blinky necklaces for all of the volunteers! We even had one of our volunteers decide to dress up as an elf! Love that Christmas spirit! Our photographer and Santa were amazing – literally the best. And, in typical Angela style, I forced politely asked my gal pal, Miss C, to be one of the volunteers. (She’d like to think she had a choice in the matter, but she didn’t. I’m mean friend like that. I don’t know how she puts up with me...)
It’s truly an honor to work with people who have a heart for kids like mine. It was wonderful to see the kids dressed up in their holiday finest as we tried to capture that magical moment with Santa. The parents were all so happy to have a stress-free Santa experience for their children. It was always awesome when the kids wanted to give Santa a high-five or a hug before they left. Two of my favorite moments were when a neurotypical sibling brought Santa a letter she wrote (so cute!), and when I introduced one of the kids to Santa’s Elf (in her full elf glory) and they leaped into her arms to give her a huge hug. Awww.

Besides the event itself, maybe being one of Santa’s elves has other unintended benefits: forcing me to be organized for the holidays. Hey, I’ll take all the help I can get!
Miss C, Santa, me, and our fabulous Elf (she's wearing a blinky necklace!)
The only one M.I.A. is the photographer...she's hiding behind the camera!
One last thing… I’m curious how many of you participate in the Black Friday shopping madness. I did that once (before kids!) and it was insane. I’m just happy I don’t have to think about it this year. I will be sleeping in, my friends. Share your official Christmas kickoff plans with me! I’m dying to know everyone’s strategy.    

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