no, no… don’t eat *these* brownies!

by jani on December 19, 2012

Definition:  Brownies –  tiny elf-like creatures who come from my grandparents native Germany. They’ve followed our family over to their new land, our United States. They’re very busy helping Santa on Christmas Eve. Hence, from December 21-23 they fill our children’s house shoes, which have been carefully placed in the window sill. If a child has been very good, upon awaking in the morning, there is generally a tiny chocolate treat or miniature ornament left inside of their slippers… such delight! “Mommy, mommy, mommy… look what the brownies brought! They even left a note in their tiny writing!” But, if the child has been naughty, the Brownies leave a small stick. Ouch!

These tiny little ornaments left by the Brownies were displayed each Christmas. Of course my favorites were mine. I have been fortunate enough to have in my assortment of Brownie treasures, two from when my Mama was a wee child. The little elf looks just like what I envisioned my Brownies looked like. That, and the little “Villa Amor” tiny house just behind the elf were found in my mother’s house shoe in about 1929! The little girl with the pink dress was found in my house shoe in 1960. I was 12 at the time and just as excited as ever to see what my Brownies brought – I’ve never outgrown the enchantment of the Brownies!

Each year we let our grandchildren set out all of our past Brownie trove! They delight in picking up each tiny gem and studying before they place it just so!

Each family member… young and old… takes pride in our Brownie display!

I don’t know if this is a family tradition or if all German families have heard of the Brownies. What we do know is… We. Love. Our. Brownies! They aren’t “Elf on the Shelf”, causing all kinds of mischief – they’re just loving, tiny elves (actually they’re much smaller than “Elf on the Shelf”) that  have been in our family for generations.

I’d love to hear more about your special Christmas family traditions!