Catching Claus | Christmas Special

I strain my ears in the darkness, hoping to hear the jingles and clops of reindeer landing on the roof. It’s one in the morning on Christmas day and Santa Claus has not visited my house yet. I’m beginning to get nervous.

I’m not worried about Santa’s well-being, in case anyone’s wondering. No, I’m nervous because if he doesn’t show, all my preparing and scheming will have been in vain.

I snuggle deeper into my sleeping bag, gazing at the tree through half-closed eyelids. The lights wink at me from between the branches. Rotating slowly, glittery ornaments throw bits of colored radiance around the living room. Humming a carol to myself, I resolve to stay awake until Santa arrives. My plan won’t work unless I am ready to move when he gets here.

On Christmas Eve, before camping out in front of the tree, I left some nasty gifts for Santa around the house. Several drops of sleeping potion lurk in the milk set out for him, powerful enough to make a man drowsy in less than a minute. Jacks are scattered across the carpet, their sharp tips yearning for an unsuspecting foot. And, finally, a snare attached to the rafters. Step in it, and you’ll be jerked off the ground, dangling upside down from the ceiling.

Listen, I’m a good kid. Look on the Nice List and you’ll find my name, Elise Larkin, right at the top. That’s how it’s been in the past, anyway. But I’m afraid that I might have become naughty this year, thanks to a haywire science experiment that ended up killing several butterflies in cold blood. There’s no way I’ll be getting presents this Christmas after committing such a serious offense.

So I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands.

After staring absently at the star topper for what must have been hours, something upsets the gentle stillness of the night. The pitter-patter of tiny objects falling, the sound of crusty ash raining from the chimney as someone wiggles their way down.

Santa is here. The fun can begin.

Slowing my breathing to a steady pace, I pretend to be asleep. Through one open eye, I watch silently as a large man creeps into the room. The front of his bulging scarlet jacket is streaked with soot from the fireplace. He notices the traps laid out on the floor — in plain sight, I realize, too late. Carefully, he tiptoes between them, lugging a giant sack behind him.

Santa reaches the table where the gingerbread cookies and poisoned milk are on display without accident. Grabbing an iced cookie with callused fingers, he takes a big bite, spewing dark crumbs onto his snowy beard. Once the gingerbread is all gone, he hungrily snatches up the cup of drugged milk and chugs it down.

Refreshed, he gets down to business, extracting trinkets from his voluminous sack and tucking them into the lined up stockings. There are stuffed animals and candy canes and plastic toys and other wonders that cause my young heart to fill with glee.

As Santa moves toward the sparkling Christmas tree, he suddenly pauses and presses a hand to his great belly, the other on his head. Behind his circular glasses, his eyes flash with discomfort. My sleeping potion is doing its job.

Santa stumbles back, so dizzy that he can barely control where his body goes. Unable to avoid my traps this time, he slips on the jacks, yelping. Then, pitching forward, his thick black boot gets caught in the snare. With another holler, he’s swept off his feet. My prize — his sack — waits for me just out of his reach.

I spring out of my sleeping bag and lunge for the bag. Giving Father Christmas an innocent smile, I drag it over to the tree and dig in. Presents done up in festive paper and shiny bows stack up around me.

It seems like Santa is trying to tell me something, but his words, muffled by his beard and slurred from the potion, are impossible to make out.

I give him a cheery wave before turning back to the gifts. Counting them in my head, I quickly realize that there aren’t enough for me and all of my sisters. This just won’t do.

I march over the Santa and jab at his stomach. “Hi, Mr. Claus, I’m Ellie. Big fan of yours,” I say sweetly, tugging on my braids. “So I was wondering, do you think you could get a few more presents for my family? Christmas will be just awful if we don’t all get something.”

Hanging by his ankle, he spins in slow circles. Sometimes I’m speaking to his face, then to his back. It’s rather disorienting.

“Naughty!” he sputters from beneath his beard. Then he promptly falls asleep.

As he twirls upside down in lazy circles, something wriggles out from under his belt and thunks against the carpet. It’s a phone with a tacky case.

I frown at it. Who would Mr. Claus ever need to call?

Ah. I scoop it off the ground and scroll through his contacts until I find what I’m looking for.

Calling Mrs. Claus . . .

In the North Pole, a high-pitched elf exclaims, “Mrs. Claus, Mrs. Claus!” Lilliputian feet scuttle across the kitchen and the elf holds up a phone, from which “Jingle Bells” is playing. “Call from Santa,” the elf explains, offering the device to the rosy-cheeked woman.

“Hello, dear!” Mrs. Claus chirps into the phone, setting down a tray of hot cookies. “I’ve baked some treats for you, whenever you get home. Gingerbread, your favorite.”

“This isn’t your husband,” I tell her coolly. Keeping the thrill of talking to Santa’s wife out of my voice is a struggle. “I have him tied up and I’m keeping him for ransom. If you want to get your dear Saint Nick back, fill a sleigh with as many presents as will fit and deliver them to my house before morning.”

I end the call.

Tucking the phone back into Santa’s belt, I imagine what must be going on in the North Pole right now. Mrs. Claus is pacing the reindeer stables, observing the elves as they load a spare sleigh with gifts for me. She has a soft hand pressed to her mouth, chewing on her nails as she worries about her husband.

Once the sleigh is stuffed, she climbs in and the reindeer take to the sky.

An hour later, I hear scuffling on the roof again. Down the chimney comes Mrs. Claus. She gasps when she spots her husband ensnared in my trap. Crying, she slashes the rope and catches him in her trembling arms.

“Will the elves be bringing down the presents?” It may sound like a question, but it’s really a demand, and Mrs. Claus knows it.

She nods weakly, cradling a drowsy Santa against her chest. “You naughty girl,” she spits at me. “I’ll see that you get coal the rest of your life!”

The Clauses are whisked away, replaced by mounds of alluring gifts. I sit cross-legged in front of the tree, admiring how beautiful they are and how clever I am, to have gotten so many presents straight from Santa’s workshop.

As the sun rises on Christmas day, I sigh contently. I rip the snowflake wrapping off the first box, singing to it, “Baby, all I want for Christmas is you.”

Merry Christmas from Happy House of AG! I hope you have a good one. :)





Oh, Ophelia, you’ve been on my mind, girl, since the flood
Oh, Ophelia, heaven help a fool who falls in love

Ophelia // The Lumineers

(I actually know nothing about The Lumineers. But my friend and I were listening to the radio one night and this song came on, and I thought it was pretty.)

 I’ve kind of missed taking pictures of my dolls. I always feel really great after I’ve gotten one of them dressed up and edited the pictures, so I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. I’m going to try, though. Wish me luck.

I’m really sorry that I haven’t posted since July. I don’t know what happened. I’m still not ready to commit to a frequent posting schedule, but how about we make a deal? I’ll try to post twice a month, and if I don’t, you’re welcome to leave me angry comments about how I’m a liar.

Time for some Life Updates™ because I don’t know what else to say:

-I went to the place where I planned to take the rest of the pictures for Serpents, and I didn’t bring my dolls?? Sorry.

-Halloween is coming up and I convinced my brother to dress up with me. We’re going to be Dipper and Mabel Pines from Gravity Falls. I don’t actually have any pieces for the costumes yet, so I need to go shopping soon.

-If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you might know that I’m homeschooled. Well, now I go to public school every other day for two classes. I’m not enjoying it.

-Fall soccer season started last month. We haven’t lost a game yet. (Although three have been ties. But still, we haven’t lost.)

I guess that’s it. I wish I had something better to post, but this is all I could pull together at the moment. I hope you all have a good day. ♥



Pilgrims & Indians

Happy Thanksgiving, guys! I hope you all have great big meals in your near future.

In celebration, I dressed Ellie and Savannah up as pilgrims and Indians and got them to act out the first Thanksgiving. I stitched all the beads onto Savannah’s dress. It took a long time, but it turned out looking really nice. :)

















Tip-Top or Fashion Flop #2

It’s been awhile since I last did Tip-Top or Fashion Flop, yeah? Since last August!

Anyway, if you don’t know how this game works, here’s what you need to know: I’ll show you an outfit I cobbled together from different sets. If you like it, comment “tip-top.” If you don’t, just say “fashion flop.” Simple as that! On July 14th, I’ll announce if it’s tip-top or a flop.

Oh, yeah, and if tip-top is the winner, I’ll post a photoshoot of Elise in this outfit. If it’s fashion flop, I’ll probably still post a photoshoot. ;)


Here’s the outfit!

Ellie is wearing:

Aqua crop top: Maryellen’s meet outfit.

Tank top: made by me.

Shorts: My AG Skateboarding Set

Shoes: Grace’s Sightseeing Outfit

Bracelet: Hearts4Hearts doll Dell’s meet outfit.


A closer look at her dragonfly bracelet.

So, what do you think of her outfit? Comment tip-top or fashion flop!


Whoa, Another Photoshoot!

I do not have a witty greeting this time. Oh wait, I never do.















Now for a round of edits . . .




I conducted a study, and have come to the conclusion that everything looks cuter as a Polaroid. ☺


Though “a picture is worth a thousand word.”

And I have just shown you seventeen pictures.

That’s got to count for something.



Review: Maryellen Larkin

Review: Maryellen Larkin

Hello! Today, I’m going to do a review of Maryellen Larkin, American Girl’s 1950s doll.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

Let’s begin with her outfit.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - shrug

She comes with a lightweight aqua shrug.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - shrug

The letter M is embroidered on the left shoulder.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - shrug

It has a diamond pattern.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - dress

Maryellen comes with a striped sundress. It has a sweetheart top with an aqua bow at the neckline.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - dress

A matching blue bow encircles the waist.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - dress

The pleated skirt goes just past her knees.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - shoes

Her shoes are strappy black Mary Janes. They secure with Velcro.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - hairbow

A large hairbow is tied around Maryellen’s high ponytail. The bow is attached to a hair scrunchie.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

Onto the doll herself. She has light skin and the classic face mold. My Maryellen’s face looks childish and innocent.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - eyes

She has feathered eyebrows and hazel eyes.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - hair color

Her hair, describe by American Girl as strawberry blonde, has more than one color woven into the wig: orange-red and several shades of blonde.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - hair

She was sideswept bangs.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - hair

When you take Maryellen’s hair out of it’s original high ponytail, it comes down to just above her waist.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin - hair

It curls easily.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

Overall, Maryellen Larkin is a gorgeous doll with easy-to-style hair. Buy her from American Girl HERE for $115.