Saturday, December 8, 2012

Feed a Cold and Jib Jab a Griever

Feed a Cold and Jib Jab a Griever -Jib Jab - Elf Yourself - Parentunplugged - Stacy Snyder




December is finally here.  I’ve patiently waited all year….not for cold weather, family time, or Advent.  I’m not anxiously anticipating Santa, the gifts, or Baby Jesus’ birthday.  December for me brings the season of Jib Jabbing.  I spend the entire month making spirits bright by Elfing people.  It is by far the easiest and most time-intensive way to way to make people laugh!

You know what I’m talking about, the Elf Yourself from Office Max where you upload photos of yourself and your friends and family for free, and you’re instantly transformed into dancing elves in velour suits with candy cane leggings.  The very first time I made a video seven years ago, I knew I was hooked.  I laughed for a solid hour and watched it at least 20 times during that hour.  I laughed so hard I cried.  Then I sent it to everyone I could think of so they could laugh so hard they would pee.  Then I made as many videos as I could think of with as many people as I knew.  Then I sent those out to everyone I knew hoping they would get a charge out of seeing themselves in action.  By the time it was all said and done, I had blown about six hours Elfing Myself that day.  My stomach muscles ached and my voice was horse when I went to bed that night from laughing so hard.  I Elfed not only myself, but my partner, her family, my toddler, my dog, my grandpa, my parents, my boss, my co-workers, my neighbors, my friends, and their friends. 

I laughed, they laughed, we all laughed.  I think I created an Elf video every day that month of December.  My family made fun of me for my obsession, but we all laughed our Elfin asses off every time we watched or made one of them.  Work, home, cocktail party, I didn’t care….I’d find a way to work an Elf Yourself video into the conversation, at a minimum, but usually into the viewing range of the audience.  I made it through the normally self-created stressful holiday season without a scratch or nick by blowing time doing something that was FUN.  The annual tradition of ELF-medicating had begun! 

The next December I waited anxiously for the same video to make its way to the Office Max website.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the same concept, but a brand new scenery and song for the Elf Yourself video.  It was just as funny as the previous year’s, so I again went to town Elfing the house down.  Score for a new annual December pastime!  Instant laughter, raised endorphins, stress relieved, I was on cloud nine for hours on end, December after December.

A few seasons ago, I was annoyed to see that you could no longer Elf Yourself for free.  Jib Jab, the company that hosted the annual Elf Yourself videos had somehow parted ways from Office Max and was now charging for the service.  Having just gone through a complete financial overhaul, I couldn’t justify spending hard-earned dollars on Elfin Magic, so I spent one holiday season without Elfing myself one single time.  I made it happily through the busy holiday season by making online photo books and drinking hot cocoa with kahlua instead of marshmallows.  While the substitution was not unpleasant, it was not my normal shot of holiday cheer, so last year I bit the bullet and bought a Jib Jab membership.  Of course I made Christmas videos, which eerily were no longer elves at Jib Jab, as I’m guessing their separation from Office Max meant them leaving the elves to the Office Max, but instead popular people and animals.  The concept had evolved to uploading yourself in creatively made traditional and popular music videos and e-cards.

From 70’s-era disco wigged dancers to ice-skating polar bears, I had lots of new backdrops to work with.  I loved them all!  Just like a seasoned addict, the more you use, the more immune you become to the high, so you have to work harder to chase the high points, so I spent more hours than ever Jib Jabbing myself and my peeps into the holiday videos last year.  Jib Jab had risen to the occasion as well and had added all holiday and birthday videos to the roster for my viewing pleasure.  Not only did I make tons of Christmas videos, I incorporated Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and birthday videos into the mix.  I kid you not, I can remember every single video I’ve ever made and I can literally Laugh Out Loud just thinking about each one.  While I have to spend more time today making the videos because of all the choices and enhanced tools, the laugh factor is still the same. It’s one of the funniest pastimes I’ve ever participated in.  I highly recommend it.

This year, the Jib Jab holiday season coincided with the stressful end to a temporary job I’d been working. My spirits were low, my body sick with a cold, and the tasks of my daily life had piled up, unfinished, to the ceiling.  With the countdown on for my last day of work, I decided to reward myself on my first day of no work with a full day of jib jabbing.  I planned out the funny event.  It was scheduled into my calendar and my kids and partner were fully aware of its presence.  I didn’t plan anything else for the day, wouldn’t break for lunch, and decided to even blow off exercising to get right to the laughter.  I blew hours at the computer earlier this week on that day, sizing the faces of my partner and her family into a family sledding competition video, uploading my preschooler and her toddler friend into a sleigh ride video, and pairing both of my girls with a school friend in a dancing Feliz Navidad video, complete with sombreros and Mexican jumping bean dancing.  I laughed until I cried.  My kids rolled on the floor with uncontrollable laughter and the people to whom I sent the videos all relayed to me how much they not only laughed at and enjoyed the videos, but also how much they anticipated their arrival each year.  Apparently everyone benefits from my obsessive Jib Jabbing. 

I needed that laughter so bad.  I felt instantly healed and ready to take on the world.  I know with 100% accuracy that my first day of Elfing Myself….er…excuse me…Jib Jabbing (I’m like the people that still call their cell phones their Palm Pilots) this December has set the tone for the rest of my month, as life is way too short not to laugh and have fun, in whatever way suits you best!  Check out my retro Elf Yourself in Hip Hop Easter Jump