Well, let’s first backup to Jingle Jam 2022 for a moment please. I decided that maybe it would be cool for Santa to have an ‘elf helper’.  So, I asked Beth and Meg what they thought about that and Dr. Shannon was with us at the time, and everybody loved the idea of me dressing up as an elf. So I did it! Turned out that ‘Elf Danielle’ had a lovely time!

 Side note:  I think Tim Benjamin might be haunted by this picture forever! Ha! It was totally staged and we were both just joking around pretending to talk about silly things into my very large elf ears! Ha! 

       Anyways, one explanation for why I like to play “dress up’ is  my birthday is right before Halloween and my family has always gone BIG on our decorations and costumes! We all love it! My kids, (10 & 6) love Halloween almost as much as mommy does!

      I can’t beleive that I’m admitting this out loud, but the girls and I actually daydream about ‘next years Halloween costume‘ all the time. I’m still  debating, but maybe I’ll try to be The Cheshire Cat in 2024! 

    Since I only dress up in costumes twice a year, I always like to try something new and challenge myself. I learn something cool about special effects makeup every time I work with it and admire the artists who’ve mastered such a skill. They make it look easy, but It’s a lot of work! 

       But back to my involvement with PTCUMC. I’ve been coming here since 2015. I help Reverend Sean by being a member of the production crew fairly often and we’ve become good friends since we are both ‘tech geeks’. Usually though, I’m like a little ghost that flits straight upstairs to the production room to run graphics. Or maybe you’ve seen me at the audio board or running a camera a few times? Feel free to say hello!

      Moving on,  may I just say that  love Fall Fest so much?!!! However, it’s only been in the last couple of years that  I organically discovered that I enjoy dressing up, not just for the Halloween Trunk-or-Treat,  but also for other events with children, such our Summer Vacation Bible School where Beth asked me to play an ‘’80’s host.” I was TERRIFIED on the first day of camp because I knew I’d probably mess something up and ya know what? I did mess up a couple of things,  but it was okay because, it turns out, I had no reason to be nervous! The kids all loved my costumes and crazy 80’s makeup and so did many of the adults! I loved making the kids smile! I also loved that I was reminding parents of a time when we thought bright blue eye shadow mixed with neon pink & neon green eye shadow was the way to go!!!  Ha! But seriously, the children are just so sweet and the parents are appreciative of the effort it takes to make a character costume come to life!

This year for JJ23, I asked if I could bust out my elf ears for the first time in a year and be a “Snow Elf Princess” instead of a super silly, red and green dressed “Christmas Elf. ” To my delight, Beth said, ‘YES!’ I was very happy with how well my winter inspired  costume turned out!  Santa Peter also  said he liked having a ‘snow elf’ to assist him.  We had a lovely time chatting in between when the kids would come visit, although we didn’t chat too much since there was very steady stream of kids coming up to see the man in the red suit!  Santa Peter was just wonderful with the kids!

     Wanna know something? I just realized that Santa Peter and I actually have a lot more in common than I ever imagined!  I really never thought about it like this before, but it what if all boils down to is that we both wear costumes in order to make children of all ages and backgrounds feel happy! 

       While a bit unique, this also another way for me to serve at my church, so I love that I get to help serve two groups!  I can help with our production team and I can help with helping the KinMin festival team wirh setup, participation and clean up. In both groups, we’ve all become good friends and work well together!

     Just goes to show that there are lots of different ways to serve at PTCUMC and both of these groups could use more members! Reach out to me if you want to know more and I’ll try and get you to the right person! Thanks for considering! Merry Christmas everyone! 

Hugs from: ‘Elf’Danielle