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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Does your family have a resident elf? Ours does, and he’s older than time, and you might be surprised to discover your family has a guardian elf as well.

Allow me to explain.

My ancestors on my mother’s side emigrated from Scotland and brought their folk tales and myths west by wagon train.

My grandmother told me as a child that she could barely understand what her grandfather was saying to her because his Scottish brogue was so thick. She had to strain to understand him but what she gleaned from him amazed her.

This great grandfather was an educated and skilled man from Glasgow. He worked as an architect in the rebuilding of London and designed great church organs with perfect pitch. These were days when a church organ filled the back of the building and the pipes were ten feet tall. He was a very tall man for the day, well over six foot and many jokes were made that he was his own ladder.

He came to the west because he couldn’t resist the call of adventure and he guessed rightly, other newcomers to the west would need his skills.

When he came to the frontier, he brought his skills, hopes and the family’s ancestral elf with him.

In the west in those days, a tall handsome man with an income didn’t stay unmarried for long—perhaps an hour or two? lol

He married my seventeen-year-old great great grandmother immediately on arrival. As their family of eleven children grew the stories of the old country and the family elf surfaced. 

These tales were rich, very detailed accounts of an ancient Scottish elf named “Capo Creamo” who traveled through time with all the children of our family and watched over them wherever they were. 

As soon as a new generations of children were born the family elf reappeared.

The children were told, Capo was a sweet but lazy elf that hated housework and there were many cautionary tales of his slovenly housekeeping skills. A Capo story would start with a statement like —children don’t be like Capo-Creamo. Capo put off washing his dirty dishes for so long he was forced to eat from a grubby soap dish before dragging a wheelbarrow full of dirty dishes into the rain to be washed clean.

If a sock or mitten was lost the children were encouraged to carefully retrace their steps and ask Capo-Creamo for assistance in locating the lost item.

If a child awoke from a nightmare, they could ask Capo to stand guard at the foot of the bed to keep the nightmare at bay.

Christmas was Capo’s time to shine. Elaborate tableaus were set up for the children to discover for themselves that indeed Capo-Creamo had visited during the night and left small gifts.

Capo-Creamo was clumsy and was known for spilling flour in the kitchen.

As a tiny child my mother remembered following a trail of tiny, floury footsteps all over the house until she found a hidden package.

Later when my mother was a very young widow with two small girls, she would dip her fingers in flour or coal dust and trace Capo’s footsteps through the house and through the snow for my sisters to follow on Christmas morning. My older sisters were too young to remember their dad but they do remember getting a great deal of comfort from knowing that some sort of beneficent male spirit was watching over the house.

As a child on Christmas Eve, I left small chunks of powdery doughnuts on a dish for Capo to enjoy. He left me a sugary trail of footsteps to follow to a hidden gift.

Capo-Creamo lives with me now. My son loves his company and eagerly plays along, although his version of Capo is pure mischief and he’s turning Capo into a warrior elf, but I don’t mind. It’s proper that each generation gets the Capo-Creamo they expect. 

I’ve told my son that when he grows up and has a family of his own he can ask Capo to live with him.

If you have children or grandchildren in your life, I encourage you to discover and name your own family elf and start your own tradition (Capo’s mine! lol). It doesn’t cost a thing but imagination. You might be surprised by how enduring your elf’s presence will be in your family. Capo’s been with us a long time. No one even knows when it started.

I can’t even say Capo’s name without thinking of my mother and grandmother who are both long gone but the memories of a few of their “elf pranks” are so sweet I feel honor bound to pass them on. My hope is that long after I’m gone, Capo our family elf may still be visiting a new generation of children.

On another note I had a new book “Nice Package” released last Friday from Ellora’s Cave. I hope you’ll check out this book. I had a wonderful time writing it and it’s very close to my heart.

Blurb:
Christmas chaos is over at the Emerson’s house, but the real holiday fun is just beginning. Jim presents Cora with a big beautiful gift box she is forbidden to open.

What’s in the crimson mystery box?

Cora finds out, slowly, over a twenty-four-hour period. The box contains tantalizing toys, temptation, tricky games and an invitation to an erotic adventure at a mountain lodge that will refresh their marriage and bond them as lovers. If Cora can endure one hellaciously prolonged tease, she’s really going to enjoy getting a nice package.

Reader Advisory: Novel contains a scene that includes light f/f interaction.
“Nice Package” Katalina Leon, Ellora’s Cave Moderne Line available now!

Also, the Ellora’s Cave Succulent Anthology Volume 1 is available now in print!

This is my first book in print and I’m very excited. Other wonderful authors in this volume are Margaret L. Carter, Kim Knox, Lena Matthews and Brigit Zahara
http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-9016-138-succulent.aspx

Merry Christmas everyone!
XXOO Kat

11 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

What a lovely tradition. Congrats on the two releases! I have both...let me just say, I'll never look at dish soap the same! ;)

Tina Donahue said...

Nice tradition, Kat - Happy Holidays to you!!

Paris said...

Kat,
I love your family's charming tradition and I'm happy to hear that you've kept it alive. Congratulations on your new releases, both e and print!

Adele Dubois said...

Kat--I like elf stories and I enjoyed yours. What a nice tradition!

Have a wonderful holiday. Congrats on the new release!

Best--Adele

Katalina Leon said...

Thank you ladies, I'm pressing myself as we speak to think of a way for Capo to visit this Christmas.... I don't have a plan yet. I was hoping someone would blurt out their plan! lol
XXOO Kat

jean hart stewart said...

Love old traditions, as I've stated several times before. Having a Capo sounds like fun...Jean

Cara Marsi said...

I love the elf story. It's a great tradition. And the fact that it reminds you of your mother and grandmother makes it all the more special. Good luck with your new release.

Angela Kay Austin said...

I love your family's tradition. They are such a great way to keep family ancestry alive and interesting for each generation. Good luck with the new releases!

Katalina Leon said...

Jean, I love your grandmother's tradition! I'm heading out this afternoon hoping to find a Bayberry candle. Its these little things that women do that give each family its "texture". Its wonderful.
Thank you Cara, I love keeping my mother and grandmother's memory alive and this is a simple way to do it for my son who never met those lovely ladies.
Angela, you are so right. A family is more than a bloodline, its a continuing story.
Adele, considering the creative home you grew up in I'm surprised you don't have a resident Elf of your own... you better double check, he's probably standing right behind you. lol
XXOO Kat

Cindy said...

It seems all of my friends have the "elf on a shelf". Since my boys don't seem to want it, I can't bring myself to get it. It's too creepy for me! I love your tradition though! It seems very sweet. I love that you can pass that tradition down to your children!

Katalina Leon said...

Ba! Capo's not a figurine on a shelf. He's real! I've seen the foot prints...lol The real fun is creating magic and silliness for someone else to enjoy.
XXOO Kat

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