Readers of a certain age, you will remember the little kewpie-esque elves, who were all over Christmases in the late 1960s and early '70s. Usually hugging their little knees, they smiled merrily, in a rainbow of era-appropriate colors (my favorite was teal).
Well, that little elf has come back in the stroke of genius of one mom, who wrote a book called The Elf on the Shelf. The story is, this is YOUR family's elf. He can't talk to you, but he's here to watch the kids and report back to Santa on activities both naughty AND nice. You get to name him, and then he hides somewhere different every day to observe. At night he flies back to the North Pole. And in the morning, he's somewhere new. (Usually. Sometimes, he--ahem--really liked the place he was yesterday and wants to stay in that spot an extra day.)
My husband and I laughed that it should be called The Snitch in the House instead of The Elf on the Shelf, but wow, oh, wow, that was the elf who saved Christmas for us last year. My oldest was in a bit of a defiant stage at the time, but when reminded of our elf, he would self-correct as fast as a four-year-old knows how. It was quite a sight to see. My only regret was that he had to go back to the North Pole with Santa, and I think he's eager to see Halloween this year. It's a fun family tradition for those who "do" Santa, as (aside from the behavior reminders) it was fun every day for the boys to come downstairs and look for him, wondering just where that elf went.
Oh, and our elf? He was named Howie. Howie was short for the "real" name our older son gave him: "How are we ever going to find that elf in the house?" Hey, it's like a dog show, right? Where the big long names boil down to "Fluffy." Same here.
The best part: right after Halloween this year, the older one, who was the one who needed the long arm of Santa, started asking about Howie and when he was coming! We just wrote to Santa this week to ask for Howie. Now if I can just find him ASAP...it feels like rushing the season a bit to me but if he wants the elf, I'm on it!
What works for you in the holidays? Go to Shannon's blog and find out what's working for others!