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Friday, December 7, 2012

Family elf returns to North Pole

For many families, the Elf on the Shelf is Santa’s helper during the holidays. The elf, about 8 inches in height and made of felt, comes in a keepsake box with a hardcover book by the same title.

In our house, he has only been a source of fear and trepidation.

The book that the elf watches each day to make sure the boys and girls are being good. At night, while the children are sleeping, he reports back to Santa about how the kids were that day.  When the kids wake up the elf is usually in a new spot somewhere around the house. It is a family tradition for many and the fun part for the kids is finding out where the elf is hiding.

Three years ago, a friend gave us the book along with the elf. I think my girls were 3 and 5 when we got him. We read the book, named the elf and registered him online. That night the elf started playing the hide and seek game. Well, it didn’t last long and my girls were frightened of the “Elf on the Shelf.”  We ended up telling the girls the elf had to go to the North Pole to help Santa and wouldn’t be back that year. The girls were happy he was gone.
Since than we haven’t had the elf back to our house, that is until this year.

The girls were helping me put up the Christmas decorations and found the elf packed away in a box with our Christmas stuff. They begged to have him out again and for us to re-read the story.
 My kids are older now, so my husband and I thought maybe this year we could have some fun with it. In school this year, both of my daughter’s teachers have an “Elf on the Shelf” in their classrooms. Their teachers told the students the elf would be watching the class, so the kids needed to be good.

My 8-year-old daughter became a little obsessed with our elf. At first she was skeptical about the elf being “real” because she told me he’s just a stuffed animal with a tag. But after her teacher brought out the elf in school and told the kids the elf was “real,” she wanted her elf at home to be “real” too. She decided she would leave her iPod out and ask him to make her a video. She had seen other videos online other elves had made. She also wrote him a note.
That night she couldn’t sleep. She kept waking up to see if he moved, to see if he wrote her a note back or if he did a video. She was a little afraid and excited at the same time. She hardly slept. The next morning, the elf was in a different spot and wrote her a note. She was so excited and couldn’t wait for the next night.
The next day and night were worse, as far as my daughter’s obsession with the elf. All she could think about was this elf and where was he going to move and how he moved.
If that wasn’t bad enough my 6-year-old daughter, who by the way didn’t really care one way or the other about the elf, played a trick the older one. She moved the elf during the day, wrote a note from the elf and even made a video with the elf moving. This really had older daughter nervous. Even though the younger daughter admitted to moving the elf, my 8-year-old couldn’t sleep that night.
Finally, my husband finally had to box up the elf and ship him back to the North Pole. Maybe we will try again next year. The girls kind of miss the elf, but for now they are glad he isn’t in the house.

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