We discovered the Elf on the Shelf a couple of years ago and it has quickly become one of our favorite holiday traditions. How in the world did no one tell me about this sooner???
In short, the Elf is an emissary from Santa, sent to watch over children on a daily basis and make sure they are behaving like good little children. Which, frankly, is almost impossible to write without laughing. Maybe that tells you all you need to know about what goes on chez moi.
The Elf watches over the house by day, and every night he flies home to the North Pole and reports back to Santa what he’s seen and heard. And when he comes back the next morning, he always “lands” in a different spot and the children never know where that’s going to be.
At least that’s how it works in our house. We have two almost seven-year-olds and a three-year-old and, every morning during “Elf Season,” as soon as they rub the sleep from their eyes, they race around the house looking for our elves. And oh yes, we have two. More on that later.
It is seriously so fun listening to them run all over searching for Elvis and Freddie (part of the fun of the whole Elf thing is that you get to pick names for your elf as soon as he comes into your home), and then scream with delight when they locate them and run to find you and tell you where they discovered them. And of course drag you there so that you can see for yourself. Usually by that time, I at least have a cup of coffee in my hand. A good thing.
And I’ll confess. The reason we have two elves is because we put the first one away after the holidays were over and promptly forgot where we put him. Actually, the truth of the matter is that my husband put him away and then forgot, but who am I to lord that over him. So we bought another Elf and, as these things go, as soon as we did that, we found the first Elf. Does this nonsense happen to anyone else? We told the kids that the reason we needed two was because their behavior was so dangerously close to bad that Santa sent two elves, because they needed extra watching. They bought it.
So if you’ve not yet discovered the joy that is the Elf on the Shelf and if it sounds like something your family would like, grab one and give it a try (this link is to Amazon, but if you’re really awesome, you’ll head to your favorite local kids’ bookstore and buy it there, so we can help keep those local businesses strong). The $30 price tag typically includes the Elf and a book that’s the story of the Elf, which is also pretty cool.
The Elf is becoming a bit ubiquitous–nowadays you can find them pretty much on every retail shelf on the planet (which actually takes away some of the fun and requires lots of explanations from parents to inquisitive children), but in all honesty, we have so much fun with ours we can’t imagine not continuing with this tradition. And at this crazy time of year, it always helps to have one extra thing as an inducement for good manners and good behavior. At least at our house it does.
Oh, and for all that’s holy, don’t make the mistake that this Babble mom did and watch the video about the Elf that scared the daylights out of her kid.
Do you have an Elf? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts.