For the first time ever, my family has been chosen to be the recipient of a secret "Twelve Days of Christmas". It has been fun to guess with the kids what the next clever package will be. A magical side effect has been that, come nightfall, I have to check my volume and tone when I am calling the children up the stairs to set the table, put away their coat, stop making each other mad, etc. You never know when the elves might be right on my doorstop (really!) listening to every word that comes out of my mouth! It's a dilemma I haven't had since I was a kid and my mom made the same kind of threat. The other night I actually changed mid sentence from "For the third time, get up here RIGHT NOW and set this table!!!GRRR!!!" To a much more pleasant and gift-worthy, "Yoo hoo...whistle...time to set the table!"
Thank you Secret Elves.