On pins and needles when an elf is in the house

This is all fine and dandy fun for the kids, but it’s no cake walk for parents who now have an additional task to do at bedtime. Namely: Don’t forget to move the elf to his new spot in the house before going to bed.

A few days ago, we forgot to move our elf. Our twins, Mia and Jordyn (ages 7), woke up to find him where he had been the night before. The girls were concerned that he was sick, but I quickly assured them he hadn’t moved because Casey, their older sister, had been at Girl Scout camp, and he didn’t want to move while Casey was gone.

The Tampa Tribune, Wednseday, December 25, 2013

By Chris Ingram

If you have children younger than 10 years old in your house, chances are you are familiar with the “Elf on the Shelf” — the storybook that comes with a 10-inch elf doll.

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Photo by JPR/Pinterest

The quick summary of the story is: The elf arrives around Thanksgiving and watches the kids in your home. Every night after they go to bed, he flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa whether they have been naughty or nice. Before they awake in the morning, he returns and perches himself in a different place in your house. There is only one rule: The elf cannot be touched.

This is all fine and dandy fun for the kids, but it’s no cake walk for parents who now have an additional task to do at bedtime. Namely: Don’t forget to move the elf to his new spot in the house before going to bed.

A few days ago, we forgot to move our elf. Our twins, Mia and Jordyn (ages 7), woke up to find him where he had been the night before. The girls were concerned that he was sick, but I quickly assured them he hadn’t moved because Casey, their older sister, had been at Girl Scout camp, and he didn’t want to move while Casey was gone.

Another morning, Jordyn accidentally knocked him from his perch, and he fell on the floor. She cried so hard you would have thought the apocalypse was coming. After 20 minutes of tears, I told her that once we all left the house, the elf would reposition himself. She was only certain she hadn’t killed the little guy when she returned home from school to find him off the floor and back in his previous spot.

Apparently near-elf death is not a phenomenon unique to my house.

My friend Alexis told me her husband brought their kids home one day only to find their elf’s head (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune).

 

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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Ideological opposites set a good example

Kevin and I scheduled the day for him to attend his first meeting as my guest weeks in advance of the actual date. I had all but forgotten which day it was when I invited Tim to attend as my guest the same day. When I realized they were coming on the same day, a slight panic set it.

Panic because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over with these two ideological polar opposites sitting together at the meeting. I considered telling one of them a little white lie to keep him from coming to the meeting on the same day as the other.

By Chris Ingram

Earlier this week, Kevin Beckner and Tim Euler were inducted into the Rotary Club of Tampa. I was proud to have sponsored both of them as members of the Tampa club, which celebrates its centennial anniversary next year as part of the international civic organization.

Kevin Beckner is a Hillsborough County Commissioner, a Democrat, and the county’s only openly gay elected official. He had spoken at the club earlier in the year and was interested in Rotary, so I invited him to come back as my guest and consider joining.

Tim Euler is the new Head of School at Cambridge Christian School in Tampa, where my girls are students. Tim is an unapologetic Christian conservative and a Republican. Tim moved to Tampa from Orlando over the summer, and we developed a friendship; as with Kevin, I asked him to be my guest at Rotary.

Kevin and I scheduled the day for him to attend his first meeting as my guest weeks in advance of the actual date. I had all but forgotten which day it was when I invited Tim to attend as my guest the same day. When I realized they were coming on the same day, a slight panic set it.

Panic because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over with these two ideological polar opposites sitting together at the meeting. I considered telling one of them a little white lie to keep him from coming to the meeting on the same day as the other.

I decided to Continue reading “Ideological opposites set a good example”

Hillsborough schools getting it right by changing with the times

While the district is frequently in the news for what goes wrong at its schools, the district deserves kudos for its efforts to prepare our students for the global economy — particularly as it relates to new technology.

Students in 27 of the county’s 44 high schools are now offered the opportunity to earn certificates. Those certificates show a student’s proficiency in programs such as Photoshop or Excel. Certificates are offered for Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Microsoft, Quickbooks and the COMPTIA A+ products. Last year 3,040 information technology-related industry certifications were awarded to Hillsborough students.

By Chris Ingram

Hillsborough County residents pay more in taxes to fund the county’s school system, which has a budget of $2.8 billion, than they do to run every other department or agency in the county combined.

The Hillsborough school system is the largest employer in the county, with more than 25,000 employees, of which nearly 16,000 are teachers. The system is the third largest in Florida and the ninth largest in the country with over 202,000 students (for comparison, the city of Tampa has about 350,000 residents).

Of those students, nearly 60 percent are eligible for free and reduced lunches. At last count, there were 168 languages spoken by students attending the county’s schools, which has a graduation rate of 82 percent.

The challenges of the Hillsborough school district are immense. The number of students, and the diversity of the population, adds to the enormity of those challenges.

While the district is frequently in the news for what goes wrong at its schools, the district deserves Continue reading “Hillsborough schools getting it right by changing with the times”

A Christmas wish list

I only want a handful of things for Christmas, and fortunately for my loved ones, they didn’t have to fight people at the mall at 4 a.m. on Black Friday to get me what I want. Because nothing I want is sold in stores.

This year’s list includes Charlie Crist!

Photo: Charlie Crist
Photo: Charlie Crist

 

By Chris Ingram

With Thanksgiving past us, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.

I only want a handful of things for Christmas, and fortunately for my loved ones, they didn’t have to fight people at the mall at 4 a.m. on Black Friday to get me what I want. Because nothing I want is sold in stores.

Here’s my hodge-podge list of what I want for Christmas.

Fix our roads. I would ask for less traffic on our area roads, but that isn’t going to happen. So instead, I am asking for a few things related to traffic that we can all do to make our roads safer and less congested.

First, I wish that everyone who feels the need to instantly respond to Tweets, texts, emails, and Facebook postings on their mobile device while driving, would put the darned things down and just drive before they rear-end someone and make some trial lawyer rich.

Second, I’m asking that people who feel the need to Continue reading “A Christmas wish list”