A beloved friend gave us an early Christmas present: Elf On The Shelf. The “Elf” kit consists of a charming kids’ book by Chandra Bell and Carol Aebersold which explains the “tradition” of the Elf. It seems the little fellow is like a spy for Santa. The Elf sits on a shelf, never moving, but always listening to what’s going on around the house. During the night, he flies back to Santa to report on who in the household has been “naughty” and who has been “nice.” In the morning, he has switched locations in the house, surprising kids with his new location. Children are told not to touch the Elf, otherwise, his Christmas magic might disappear (for more information, check out the website: www.elfontheshelf). Cute, huh?
We named our Elf “Seymore” (as in “See More” of what’s going on around the house). Seymore started his time with us by sitting on the mantel. Now, my 10-year-old is gleefully not buying the story, although he is still on the fence about Santa. In fact, he has asked that on his 18th birthday, I tell him whether Santa does exists (Yes, when you’re 18, I would be happy to discuss Santa with you, Kid). Junior is thrilled to go along with the story of the Elf because 1) he’s pulling one over on his sister who is so often the source of daily frustration 2) he feels like one of the grownups who is perpetuating this story for the enjoyment of the 5-year old.
Wonderfully, magically, the 5-year old is totally buying the Elf story. For the first 20 minutes of Seymore’s guard duty, she stared at him, convinced he was alive. I couldn’t tell if she was scared or thrilled. Later that evening, she swore she saw him move, perhaps to stretch (sitting for a long time is tiring). At bedtime, she kept sneaking downstairs to peek at him on the mantel. She told me she was a “little creeped out by him” and the way he never blinked. My daughter eventually made peace with the Elf, figuring that any friend of Santa’s was a friend of hers.
This morning the Elf was in the dining room. My daughter said she heard the cat running around last night, trying to catch the Elf when he flew to Santa. She completely dismissed the fact that the cat runs around like a lunatic EVERY night, whether the Elf is there or not. Tonight, when the little one was in a time-out for not listening, she asked whether I thought the Elf was going to tell Santa on her (a friend’s daughter begged the Elf not to tell Santa she’d been naughty). I can see that the Elf is getting the reputation of being quite the Narc.
Elf On The Shelf isn’t something I would have bought for my kids. It’s tough enough keeping up with Santa (on Christmas morning, my kids have found lettuce that the reindeer dropped on the front lawn and they always find sooty footprints from the fireplace to the tree). But as long as Seymore doesn’t promise more presents (Lord knows, my kids get enough!), he’s welcome to stay. I can always use another pair of eyes around the house.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog. MomsCrayon is a New Jersey mom.
Photo credit given to Chasing Fireflies.