Saturday, January 5, 2013

What the Elf on the Shelf Taught Me This Christmas

Happy New Year! And now bear with me while I talk about my Christmas and what I learned from the Elf on the Shelf.

I had gone back and forth in my mind deciding whether or not an elf would come to our house. (For those of you not in the know, the Elf comes down from the North Pole to keep an eye on things for Santa. Every night he travels back to the NP to let Santa know who is being naughty and who is being nice. He also sometimes can be a little naughty himself.) I love the idea of the Elf, but I didn't want to resent having to do it, especially after I found a couple of blog posts like, "50 Great Elf on the Shelf Ideas in 25 Minutes or Less!. Seriously? Twenty-five minutes? How is it possible that people have this much time on their hands? I need the same thing but in TWO minutes or less. Come on people!! Why do you have to make the regular mommies feel bad?

After a bit of Pinterest research, I decided the Elf could come and I was committed to it. First I bought an Elf from Hobby Lobby for $3.50 because the real Elf on the Shelf is a little bit creepy AND costs $30!! His first appearance in our home was on the first day of December and I seriously wish I could have recorded Noah's reaction when he spotted him. His eyes got so big and he sort of waved at him like he was saying hello but was too scared to talk.

Our elf was named Bells and he showed himself to be quite mischievous.

Bells not satisfied with the tree before the ornaments went on.

After a particularly hard elfish day.
 Whoever thought being an elf was easy clearly has no elfish experience!

Sitting atop the candle quite satisfied with himself.

He was quite creative,

and very hungry.

He was quite dusty after this little adventure.

He clearly subscribes to the "do as I say, not as I do " philosophy.
 (Note: toothpaste is extremely hard to get off of mirrors.)

He was shocked to discover that this little stunt took much longer to
execute in real life than in his head.
He even came with us on our trip to Florida.

So what I learned is this. It doesn't take very much time or effort to bring joy into my kids' lives, and when I do make that little effort, it brings even greater joy to my own life. Win-Win!! This little elf brought to me the important lesson that I need to lighten up, to laugh more, to be silly, and to have fun with my kids every single day. No matter how much I have to do, no matter how stressed out I am, no matter what - say something funny, do a little dance, have a tickle fight, leave a scrolly note from the tooth fairy, look at them cross-eyed when they least expect it, whatever it takes!

Thanks, Bells! I hope you return next year, not only for my kids but to check in on me too!!


  1. I had never heard of the elf on the shelf until last year and had no idea what it was all about. With Angela being just over 2, I didn't even consider it this year. After reading this, I think I am going to give it a go next year!

  2. As a kid, I had never heard of Elf on the Shelf, but I've liked the concept right from the start. Though I can agree that finding new locations and keeping up the mirage might be tough depending on the age of your kids.

    Glad to hear it worked out!

  3. I can use this advice to lighten up! Thank you!

  4. Yay for you!! To be honest it always sounded like a big pain in the butt, so maybe I'll change my tune. :D


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