Megan Again: Elf On A Shelf, Santa Claus And A Little Christmas Magic
By Megan Wirts
The elf is back in town!
If you aren’t familiar with the Elf on the Shelf, well, I’m not sure what rock you have been living under for the past few years, but the story goes like this:
A scout elf shows up at children’s houses after Thanksgiving and each night he/she will fly back to the North Pole to give Santa the lowdown on what’s happening around the house. The elf shows up in a different place each day, sometimes the elf is mischievous and can involve some kind of silly antics, or it can just move place to place. Basically the elf is the big red guy’s eyes and ears to help watch out for naughty kids. The kicker is that the kids are not allowed to...
...touch the elf, or else he will lose his magic and according to my kids, will die a horrific death.
There are people that love the elf and people that hate the elf. The main argument I hear from the haters is that the elf is creepy. People have told me that they think the elf has a smug grin and looks more like a serial killer than a happy little magical creature.
Other arguments are that they just don’t have time, they are afraid they will forget to move it, they don’t think they are creative enough, it sounds like too much work, or they don’t do Santa type stuff which also means no magical elves.
To each their own, I say. If you don’t want one, don’t get one. If you have one, good for you. The whole thing can be quite a sore spot with some people. I have seen Elf on the Shelf debates just as, if not more, heated than some political debates. Some people take their elf love or hate to an extreme sometimes. It’s truly amazing how a tiny little elf in a red outfit can bring up some very strong emotions for some parents.
Our family has an elf and I do love having it around, but I’m not going to try to start a war or end friendships because you don’t see the elf’s appeal. It’s really not a big deal.
As much as I love our little elf, that my kids named Elvis, I do get annoyed with the whole thing occasionally. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I curse that elf’s name when it’s the last thing I want to do and the end of a hectic day. There have also been a few times that the elf has forgotten to “fly back to the North Pole”. There are the nights that we are just too tired and fall asleep and forget.
Then the elf must write a note, in handwriting that doesn’t look mine (SO ANNOYING! Plus, it has to be the same handwriting each year because my little hoarders keep all the flipping notes and look at them every year!) with some good excuse about why he didn’t move from his spot.
Usually when this happens, what I like to say is, “What did you do? Did you touch him? I told you guys to stop fighting yesterday. That’s it, he’s lost his magic, LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE!!! He’s going to DIE!!!!”, all dramatic like and flail around. I think it’s rather hilarious. My small people, not so much, they mostly just roll their eyes at me now.
I got our elf 5 years ago, when my small people were 4 and 7 years old and I have, mostly, had fun coming up fun things to do with it. Oh, there have been a few bad ideas, like the time that Elvis used sticky foam sheets to make a snowman on our refrigerator.
Super cute until after Christmas when I tried to take the stupid things off and found it was doggedly adhered to the surface with little chance of removal. . I had a snowman on my fridge for a couple of years and I would mutter rude things about Elvis every time I looked at it.
Another time that dumb elf drew on all of my picture frames with a permanent marker. Seems the elf thought it was a dry erase marker. Not cool.
Some nights I do elaborate silly things, like wrapping my entire kitchen in wrapping paper or creating an “elf zip line” out of Christmas lights and pipe cleaners, but most of the time he just moves to a different place each night. It’s doesn’t always have to be something huge.
Having the elf around for the last few years has come in quite handy during the Christmas season. When my kids are being total jerk faces I can one word, “Elf” and those little monsters will straighten right up. Most of all, I love seeing the light in my small people’s eyes every morning when they find Elvis and see whatever crazy stunt he has pulled or what silly thing he was up to the night before. On Christmas Eve, we let our kids give our elf a hug before he heads off to the North Pole for the rest of the year.
The first time they got to do this, my children both cried tears of joy and were just so happy that they got to hug this little red elf, they were over the flipping moon. I was so taken aback by how much they loved this thing it made me cry too. My kids freaking love this elf.
To me, Christmas is magical and wonderful. It’s a season full of joy and everyone is just a little bit nicer. Santa and our Elf on the Shelf are part of that for our family. When my daughter became skeptical and wanted to know what I knew, I insisted that Santa was real and the elf was real and implored her to stop asking questions! I plugged my ears and said “LALALALALA!”, just like when I was 11 years old and my mom tried to convince me that Santa wasn’t real. What can I say, I loved Santa as a kid and I still do.
Then when I came to terms with the fact that my baby was growing up, I welcomed her to what I like to call “The Magic Keepers Club”. I told her that just like me, and my mother before me, we are the keepers of the magic and the mystery surrounding things like the Tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter Bunny. It is our responsibility to keep the wonder and excitement of this time of year alive. Then I told her that all of that was a lie and Santa was real and to shut her mouth. Shhhhh!
Since then, she has been mine and my husband’s partner in crime. The three of us love doing something fun and sweet for the youngest member of our family. He’s becoming quite skeptical this year though, so we all can sense the end of being a believer is near, and we are all a little sad. It feels very bittersweet and we are holding on and loving these last bits of him being little as much as possible.
We choose to include the Elf on the Shelf in our Christmas celebration and it has been something that our family has loved for many years now. I’m sure it will continue even when my smallest small person is no longer a believer and both of them are teenagers that know everything and are embarrassed by their weird mother that still believes in elves and Santa Claus. I don’t care, because you are never too old to believe in magic.
Especially at Christmas time.
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