Does your family have an elf, as in The Elf on the Shelf? Thanks to Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, I’ve seen adorable little elves making themselves comfortable in some very interesting ways around your homes. I’ve also heard from kids who say that they have an elf at their house. It’s quite a popular Christmas tradition. This year we welcomed an elf into our family. His name is Jack, and he quickly made himself right at home.
I learned a few things about Jack’s background that I thought were pretty interesting. We picked up a cute book and we’ve already read it a few times. I read it to a classroom full of first graders last week and they were mesmerized. After the story, many of them raised their hand to tell me the name of their family elf. I think most of them were just throwing out names for no reason, but it made me happy to see them genuinely interested in the story. Kids can be so brutally honest, and it’s easy to tell when they’ve checked out.
The Elf on the Shelf is a cute story so I’ll provide a quick summary for those of you who have never heard it. When an elf arrives at your house, you can adopt it and give it a name. Sometimes an elf will simply appear in a family home, but my daughter is very quick to point out that we got ours at Target. Your elf will watch your children’s behavior, and each night he will report back to Santa at the North Pole and tell him if you were good or bad. That’s one of the ways Santa knows who goes on the nice list and who will end up on the naughty list. The elf will quickly return home and rest in a different place than he was the night before. Elves have been found in some very interesting places, and those are likely the pictures you will see people share.
The one rule is that the elf cannot be touched. If anyone touches him, his magic will disappear. We can talk to him all we want, since he is always listening and watching. In our home, the sight of the elf has been a good reminder for everyone in our family to be on our best behavior. We wouldn’t want the elf to go to the North Pole and tell Santa that we were naughty! The biggest problem in our home is that sometimes our little Jack gets lazy and forgets to fly home at night, as we quickly see the next morning when we find him in the very same spot that he was in the night before!
On Christmas, our little elf will go back to the North Pole, and we won’t see him again until next year. He will find his way back to our family sometime after Thanksgiving, when we will again welcome him into our home.
This morning we found our little elf resting comfortably in Barbie’s kitchen. He seems to gravitate toward the Dreamhouse. Maybe he likes the company. He also likes to sit near the TV, probably because he knows that is where he’s sure to cross paths with the people in our family most often.
Hopefully, you’ll have the chance to have an elf in your own home one day. It has surely been a delightful tradition for us so far. Besides, if having a little elf around the house prompts anyone in my house to behave, then I’m all for it!