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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Remembering the days of the “Elf on the Shelf”

The "Elf on the Shelf"

Have you heard about the “Elf on the Shelf?” If you haven’t, it is a little material elf about 8 inches in height that comes in a keepsake box with a hardcover book you read your children called “The Elf on the Shelf.”  The book explains all about the elf and how he is Santa’s helper during the holidays. 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 somewhat of a family tradition during the Christmas holiday for many and the fun part for the kids is finding out where the elf is hiding each day.

When my girls were 3 and 5 years old is when we got him. We read the book, named the elf and registered him online. And 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.

We brought him back about three years later. 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.
Since the girls were older ages 6 and 8, my husband and I thought we would have some fun with the elf.  The girls were in elementary school and both of their teachers had 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.

That year, 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 and my husband finally had to box up the elf and ship him back to the North Pole.

The elf came back last Christmas, when the girls found him hiding in our garage in one of the Christmas boxes. Even though they were 10 and 12, they decided to give him away to my nephew who was looking for an elf of his own. We joke about the elf and I think the girls kind of miss him, but secretly I think they are glad he isn’t in the house.

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