“You wouldn’t want Santa to find out you aren’t playing nicely.”
“Uh oh. It looks like Buddy is watching.”
‘Tis the season for yet another task for parents and something additional for children to believe.
Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely have an Elf on the Shelf. I admit, I fell into the extra Christmas magic six years ago when we had an almost 1 and 3-year-old. It seemed like such a cute, innocent, even fun idea to have a book with a stuffed creature. We read the book one evening in December and she chose ‘Shiny’ for our Elf name, because you know, “Christmas is shiny. And yes, mom, Shiny is a girl”.
That began the panic every Thanksgiving evening to find the elf. We obviously stash him (her) away in a place that the kids will never find, yet we’ll never forget…and somehow each year my husband and I meet eyes to say, “Do you know where it is?” We now own 3. Yes, two years in a row we misplaced the dang elf and it was a mad dash to buy another one… with the same eye and hair color. Last year when we began decorating the house I had specifically located the elf in storage and set her aside… my, then, 5-year-old son opened a box and started screaming and shaking… “Mommy!! It’s Shiny!! She’s in the box, I don’t think I touched her, will she still be magic? Why is she in the box?! Shiny!!!” Pure panic, pure amazement, and pure breath holding from my husband and I. Silly Shiny, announcing her return, and surprising us in such a dramatic entrance!
It is memories like this that make each night between Thanksgiving and Christmas as my husband and I scramble, bargain, and forget to move the dang Elf, worthwhile. The first few years was simple… the kids were young enough to forget about the elf and not grasp the concept entirely. Now, it’s increasing difficult, but amazingly, our 8, 6, & 5-year-olds all still believe in the power of magic. They have the best time each morning searching the house for Shiny and her shenanigans. Shiny is a tame elf, in comparison to what I hear, who can be found snacking on an orange, making a Christmas list, or asking for our Halloween candy to give to Santa (genius!). We all have fond memories of past years and the fun we’ve had with Shiny. Each year I’m waiting for my three to question further or flat out stop believing in the magic, but until then we will continue to keep innocence and the sense of belief and joy in our home. These are the sweet moments.
Does your family have an elf?