Two mischievous elves keep a Center Grove’s family on their toes this Christmas
By Sherri Coner
Wearing bright green Grinch pajamas, Kieran Lewandowski-Rhoads, 7, answered the door while spluttering excitedly about an unexpected visit from a couple of elves named Billy and Millie.
“They said they liked the way I decorated my bathroom,” said this first grader at North Grove Elementary School. “They said I did it really good.”
With a knowing smile, Kieran’s mom, Jamie Lewandowski said, “Every time he likes something new, we decorate his bathroom like that.”
An elf-taught Christmas decorator
This year Kieran’s love for a game called Garten of Banban caused Mom to break out some additional creativity. After she couldn’t find shower curtains or decorative items to go along with Kieran’s new theme, Jamie ordered a plain white shower curtain and vinyl stickers of the characters. After she and Kieran decorated the shower curtain, he drew pictures of his favorite Garten of Banban characters and painted them for Mom to hang on the bathroom walls.
“He did a really, really good job,” Jamie said with a smile. “He’s my little artist.”
Kieran didn’t want anyone to forget that his really good job was rewarded by Billie and Millie’s surprise visit. They not only wrote a note; they also left a surprise sweet treat.
Although this visit was problem-free, this mom and son team of Christmas lovers never have any idea what Billy and Millie will get into when they visit.
At the Center Grove home of Jamie Lewandowski and her son, Kieran Lewandowski-Rhoads, the month of December is all about decorating and discovering what a couple of elves can get into while Kieran is sleeping. Even the family dogs, Boomer and Bandit, show off their Christmas spirit.
“They toilet papered my toy room one time,” Kieran said with a giggle.
Another time, those bratty elves ziplined from one light to another.
According to Kieran, the bad-behaving elves have used the kitchen sink as a bathroom before and also sneaked over to his mommy’s workplace, where she is the Center Grove High School attendance secretary.
Another time, they mailed themselves to Kieran’s papa’s house.
Actually, no one can blame Billy and Millie for spending a lot of time at this Center Grove address.
Outside the home, Santa is celebrated all around the yard and even on the roof.
Sleigh’ing it with holiday decor
Inside, stuffed Christmas animals line the stairway. Bookshelves are filled with colorful decorations. Santa jackets cover dining room chairs. A huge talking Santa hangs around near the fireplace. And the mantel is lined with stockings.
Jamie’s father, Raymond Lewandowski, who passed away in October 2022, raised her and older sister Shannon Procter of Greenwood, alone.
Their dad always made a big, magical deal at Christmas.
In fact, once gifts were opened and the girls thought Santa’s job was complete, Raymond surprised his daughters with one more gift, Jamie said with a smile.
She carries this tradition on for Kieran.
Always, Jamie said she has loved to decorate for holidays, especially Christmas.
But when her only child came along, December decorating took on a whole new purpose … for a little guy with big bright eyes and ever-lasting energy.
Billy and Millie are not the only mess makers when they visit.
Someone else is also kinda sloppy.
“He leaves the milk spills on the table,” Kieran said of the mysterious big guy in red. “And he leaves crumbs around the plate from the cookies.”
But Kieran has an understanding attitude about the mess. “Santa has to do his job before everyone wakes up. He has to eat quickly,” he said with a smile.