A Peek into the Elves’ Sweatshop

So, will the airline count an over-sized shopping bag stuffed with tiny Christmas presents as a “personal item”? I’m going to say yes, because this stuff is not going to fit in our carry-on bags, at least if we want to bring clothes too.

Yes, I know that wrapped gifts are on the soft list of “Things to Not Bring on an Airplane.” As in, they are technically allowed but likely to cause delays, headaches, and tearing-of-hair in the security line. But what can I say? The children have been busily working away at them since Thanksgiving.

Every day I could count on having a few mysterious hours of silence, as they emerged from their rooms only in search of more scotch tape, construction paper, pipe cleaners, and other sundries. I haven’t recycled a cardboard box in weeks, because any box that comes in the mail or is emptied of pasta is immediately requisitioned for reuse in one of the ever-multiplying packages. We’ve gone through who knows how many rolls of wrapping paper and tiny bows this Christmas.

More than once in the weeks leading up to Christmas I gently suggested mailing the dozens of presents to the various parties, but since we are flying out to Utah to meet up with my side of the family tomorrow, Axa and Raj had their hearts set on hand delivering everything. Tony’s side of the family is coming out for Axa’s baptism in a month, so they’ll be presented with their gifts then.

Quite a few of the presents, though, were intended for internal Familia family distribution. It was so fun to see what they had been working so hard on for all these days. I, for example, received this lovely collage from Axa:

Tony got this snazzy construction paper spider and web, conceived and created by Raj:

In case you can’t tell, the spider is cleverly “waterproofed” in several layers of scotch tape.

And for Raj, Axa created this classic duo out of pipe cleaners:

I’m thinking it’s pretty obvious who they are, but if you’re having trouble, those are light sabers they’re holding. Do you love the cape? It just melts my heart to actually see the stuff they spent so much time making over the past several weeks.

I’m sure there are some equally delightful treasures in all those presents we’re taking on the plane to Utah. So even if worst comes to worst and TSA makes me painstakingly unwrap all forty-seven of them to prove that they don’t contain meat cleavers, lacrosse sticks, BB guns, saws, nunchucks, fireworks, bleach, or (gasp!) unidentified gels and liquids, it will be worth it to do it for my sweet little elves. Merry Christmas!

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