I'm sure many of you have heard of or seen The Elf on the Shelf. . . I first heard about it last year. I thought it sounded like fun, but I was too lazy to do anything about it. This year my mom and dad sent an elf to Harper and Michael for St. Nick's Day (more about that in another post). In the box was the elf and a book that told all about how the elf would sit quietly and watch to see if the children were good and then would fly back to the North Pole while they slept and report to Santa. Each morning the elf has returned and can be found in a different place in our house. We already do the Santa thing and Harper really buys into all the magical elements of Christmas, so I was not too surprised when she got excited about the elf.
We read the accompanying book and found some great rules/information about Snowy: you can talk to him, but he's not allowed to talk to you - only to Santa, you can't touch him our his magic will disappear (genius!), he uses magic to get back and forth from the North Pole, he'll leave on Christmas Eve and not return until next year, etc. Whoever wrote the book clearly had children because I felt things were neatly explained and the "story" covered all the bases.
The first morning, after we opened Snowy, Harper was going to be gone with Matt for a couple of hours. I told her I would leave the box open on the counter when I went to take a shower and we'd see if Snowy (which is the name Harper chose) would find a place to perch.
Here is Harper "finding" Snowy when she arrived home:
He was in the wreath above our fireplace.
I can imagine that the elf thing would not work with every kid/family. It has been a really fun experiment for us. If anyone comes to our house they immediately receive a briefing on the no touching rule from a very serious Harper. It's pretty funny. Dziatku almost touched him the first day he saw Snowy and I thought Harper's head was going to explode. She is a firm believer - it's awesome.
One of my favorite things is catching her talking to Snowy - she'll tell him something she's proud about or mention what she'd like for Christmas. I think she's at the perfect age for something like this - completely open to it. Though I can imagine some children might be a little creeped out at the idea of this elf coming and going and traipsing around the house at night.
I have had a lot of fun finding new places for Snowy to rest, usually an elevated spot, just in case someone finds the touching rule too difficult to follow. . . Here are some of the other places Snowy has been found:
On top of the entertainment center,
on the branches of the Christmas tree,
I have had fun taking pictures of the places Snowy has landed - there's a whole set here.
My only problem with Snowy is that I obviously can't move him before Harper has fallen asleep, but I sometimes forget to move him before I go to bed. Harper will come in my room in the morning and ask, "Mom! Have you seen Snowy yet?!" And then I'll panic and jump up and mumble that I need to get something, could she please wait for me right there. And I'll go rearrange the elf. This has only happened a couple of times and I haven't been caught yet, knock on wood. She believes so whole-heartedly that she never looks in the place where Snowy had been the day before.
Thankfully we only have a few more days with Snowy, because I am running out of new places to put him. This is a new tradition, not one of the many we are continuing from when Matt or I were little - it will be interesting to see how long it lasts and whether it is something Harper wants to do with her own family someday. With Michael three and a half years behind her, we're looking forward to quite a few Christmases with Snowy.
Have any of you got elves on your shelves?