Mike the Elf.

Everyone, meet Mike. Mike, meet everyone. He's our new Christmas friend, one to sit in random spots in our house if I feel like putting him somewhere to make a game out of it. You see, Mike is no ordinary Elf on the Shelf. No. Mike is better than that. 

I've always been a little bit fickle about the whole elf and the shelf deal. On one hand I think it's kind of a cute game to play with your kids just during the holiday season. On the other hand, I'm not really into the whole-telling your kid the doll is real and will snitch on you to Santa if you're bad. 

The boys decided his name is Mike because they're obsessed with Monsters lately and Mike is the coolest name ever. I'm not exactly sure what we'll do with him every year, but I'm determined to make up our own traditions with him, one that fits our family and isn't just something we're supposed to buy into because all the other families are doing it. Also? I don't have the time or energy to spend my days trying to figure out what silly thing he's going to do next. I wish I had that kind of motivation. But I don't. I just...can't. 

However, Mike does offer one question of eternal significance- if we don't post about our holiday traditions online- did they even happen? The holidays get crazy out of control via social media, via pinterest, and a lot of us moms feel this pressure to make the holidays spectacular when in reality they're already pretty spectacular in the small ways that we don't broadcast from the mountaintops. The holidays are special in that one movie you always watch with your Dad every year. In the hot cocoa you have every Friday night in front of the fireplace, in the Christmas music constantly at the top of your playlist. The holidays aren't made special by traditions we get out of a box. 

Right now Mike is just going to chill in our tree for a bit and he comes down to read books with us and yesterday when we watched Elf. He'll be a part of our tradition but you probably won't be hearing much about him.