A Family Tradition: Creepy, Yet Fun House Elves

Well, it’s that time of year again.  Trees, lights, presents, candy canes, letters to Santa… oh and yes, I almost forgot, time to be creative and hide this slightly creepy, and sometimes inconvenient elf every single night:

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That’s Kirby BTW.  He’s our house elf and he’s  hiding on our ceiling fan above our dining room table watching us enjoy dinner.  If you haven’t heard of “The Elf on the Shelf”, he’s this little scout elf who runs to Santa each night to tell him how naughty or nice your kids have been.  Every day he then hides in a new spot in your home so that the kids can find him.  For me, that spot has to be a place where my little toddler won’t grab him and drool all over him (that’s the inconvenient part).  Why’s that?  Because you can’t touch the elf or else he loses his magical powers and then Christmas will be ruined.  Or something like that.

It’s a cute idea.  Or it seemed to be at the time I bought him 3 years ago.  Back then my kids were 3 and 4, and so excited to see the elf, and where he would hide next.  I’ll admit it was fun watching them get excited, and a little nervous, that  this REAL elf was in our house and had just come from the North Pole.  Every time anyone misbehaved all you had to do was say “Kirby” and they would stop and LISTEN.  To ME!  It was a dream come true.

Fast forward to 2012, my kids are older, and while they still get excited, they zone in on him in like 5 seconds, “Oh.  He’s right there.”  The elf instead of a reminder to be good, has become a sort of personal assistant to “take down” present requests, “Kirby, here’s my list this year.  Will you please take this list with you to Santa when you leave tonight?  Thanks.”  All while the elf looks on with his slightly insidious grin, (Chucky, anyone?)

I am probably heading toward my last year with all the make-believe stuff, especially with my oldest.  I would like to keep the tradition going for my youngest though, (right now being only 1, he could care less).  So this year I am trying my hardest to put the elf in unique, yet tricky places, thanks to Pinterest.  Our elf has hidden in a box of tissues, in the fridge *eating* leftover pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving, in an empty Pringles can, on our tree, and even by a light fixture in the bathroom.  He’s *made* paper snowflakes, where I find myself shredding bits of paper in my kitchen to stage his messy craft in the middle of the night, hidden in my yarn pile, and written teeny tiny notes ending with “tee hee”.

Some parents get really into it.  While I have no desire to make tiny pancakes, or make a zipline for him to glide across our living room, I am impressed with the dedication of some of these hardcore elf families.  My favorite is one where he’s tied up and surrounded by Lilliputian legos, a la Gulliver’s Travels.  http://pinterest.com/pin/103160647685636837/

So if you feel inspired, go to Target and get one for your family!  I do recommend, however you don’t put him out until the week before Christmas so you don’t get burnt out like me.  With still a month to go I wish I had…

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