I'm sure you have heard of the "Elf on the Shelf". You probably even have one. Just in case you're in the dark about this weird little guy, let me enlighten you. In 2005 a lady wrote a book about a little elf who comes to one's house, sent by Santa to keep an eye on behavior. He hangs out on the shelf waiting to see what kind of choices the child makes, and then, supposedly reports it to Santa. I was not fully aware of the whole idea of the elf when I purchased my own a couple of years ago.
And when I read the book, I was appalled.
Let me stop here and say, I am really, really, really not trying to offend all of those who use and love the Elf on the Shelf in its' intended way. But, I just can't bring myself to do it.
I am not a big fan of a Santa who is merit based. I can't get behind the whole naughty/nice list, because, really? You only get gifts if you've had good behavior? First of all, we know that's not true. I've never known a single person who, on Christmas morning, had nothing from Santa because they were rotten. And we all know some people who would qualify if that were the case. Second, we all-FINE-I have enough issues with hopping on life's treadmill and trying to earn my way to love. I know my kids will struggle with this because, well, they're human. I just can't add to the behavior angst by setting up a creepy little elf, who has no hands and feet, and suggest he's always watching. I know, I know. For some of you it works like a charm and makes for some beautiful behavior. I don't begrudge you that!
So, I decided to change up our approach. We use our elf. He comes every morning of December until Christmas and brings a chocolate kiss and an encouraging note. He recognizes some good choice or an example of kindness Drew had the day before. This is something I have been working on-pointing out the times he makes the right choice. He has LOVED his notes and has grown very attached to Elfie.
Elfie is supposed to go home with Santa on Christmas Eve. When I mentioned this to Drew it invoked a holy meltdown like you have never seen. Here I was, in front of uncles and a grandmother, wrecking my kid's whole Christmas. Thank heavens Big Dan swooped in and saved the day. He told Drew he had heard about a rule where you could write a note to Santa and request an extension of Elf stay. It is a really handy thing to have an attorney for a dad. The document was drafted and...approved! Elfie was granted a stay at our household until January 4. If you're paying attention that's in three hours. At the stroke of midnight, Elfie will use his elfing powers and scamper back to the North Pole until next Christmas season.
And I will no longer have to remember to put out notes and candy every night. Which is a good thing, because as the days have gone on, my memory has been getting lax. Elf's are not encouraging when you find them lying facedown on the sofa right where you left them. Just sayin'...