While at a friend's house the other night we were formally introduced to the Elf on the Shelf. I had seen the boxes at Hallmark and even the kids pediatrician asked me if we had one, but I hadn't paid much mind to it. That was until my friends told me how magical it was at making kids behave before Christmas! Then, I decided I must have one!
Sunday morning, in the midst of an apparent Nor'easter, I drove myself to the local Hallmark store and purchased an elf on the shelf. I paid more than was necessary, but I had to have the behavior-modification-elf. As I snuck back in the house, I perched him on the hanging light in the kitchen, and then took the accompanying book upstairs to place in the hallway between the kids bedrooms. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. When would the kids notice him? How would I explain his sudden appearance 4 days before Christmas? They were consumed with Handy Manny on TV so there was no shot they'd come into the kitchen. Ah, ha! A plan.
Me: "Hey, guys. You didn't open up your advent calendar."
There is always chocolate inside so I knew that would do the trick! They scurried into the kitchen, opened their calendar and were still oblivious to my little miracle sitting on the light. That was it, I had to draw attention to him.
Me: "Oh my. What is on the light??" Do you see it?"
Abby: "What is it?"
Alex, looking everywhere but at the light: "What? What? What are you looking at?"
Now both kids are clinging to my legs out of fear of some large bug or spider about to descend on their heads.
Me: "Do you see him? I think it's an elf! He must have jumped in my pocket book at Brendan's house and followed us home."
Abby: "I think it's a girl."
Alex: "What? Where? Where?" He was still spinning trying to locate our little friend.
After a few minutes of some searching, Alex finally got a glimpse and then the questions began.
Alex: "Can you hear us? Is he real? What is he doing?"
I didn't want to try and explain the whole purpose of his visit since it was outlined in the cute book upstairs, so I happily convinced them their feet were cold being barefoot so we all needed socks. This Christmas miracle was turning out to be more work than I had thought but once we read the book all would be revealed.
After finding the book at the top of the stairs, we read it together so they would know he can't speak but only listens and watches, and you can't touch him or he'll lose his magic, that he flies to the North Pole each night to tell Santa what good things they've done and then returns to a new spot each morning, and that we had to name him.
They decided on the name Starlight. Abby still insists he's a girl, which is fine. And Alex has stood beneath him and asked him a million questions,
"Do you speak Spanish? Do you go to school? Can you fly up the chimney? Why won't you talk to me?"
Every morning since Sunday, the first thing they do is run through the house searching for him/her. I think hubby is enjoying finding new places for him to hide each night as much as the kids enjoy searching for him. Abby waves to him/her every time she finds herself in the same room as the elf. Alex is still freaked out that the elf's eyes don't move or blink, yet everyone he meets he shouts with glee, "We have an elf in our house!"
I love that I can use Starlight for leverage when the bickering begins. That elf will definitely be making an earlier appearance in our house next year! Thanks for the introduction, Brendan - better late than never :)